Two new employment laws in California went into effect Jan. 1, 2023 – one expanding worker protections when a loved one dies, and another expanding existing sick leave laws when caring for a loved one outside of their immediate family circle.
As our Los Angeles employment lawyers can explain, California has some of the strongest worker rights protections in the country – and these two new statutes are good examples.
Let’s start with Bereavement Leave – or more specifically, Assembly Bill 1949. This is a measure amending the California’s Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act to allow workers to take paid bereavement leave, also known as funeral leave or grievance leave.
New California Bereavement Leave Law for Employees
A fair amount of employers in California already offer some type of bereavement leave to their workers as part of their benefits package. Most have a set number of workdays that employees can take off if a loved one dies. Some require that workers first exhaust all their vacation and/or sick days first before they can be permitted to take any additional days for bereavement. Additionally, there are a number of cities throughout the state that require employers operating in those jurisdictions to provide workers with bereavement leave. But these policies are a patchwork of rules, with broad variations on how many days off are permitted, how close in relation the worker must be to the decedent for the worker to claim benefits, how the time must be taken (consecutively, broken up, etc.), and how requests must be made. Smaller employers may not have a set bereavement policy, but rather make determinations on a case-by-case basis.
This new law requires private employers with five (5) or more employees to provide any eligible employees (having worked there at least 30 days) to at least 5 days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member. Some companies already offer more than this, but any employer who offers fewer days than this will need to amend their policies.
“Family member” in this case can mean: Continue Reading ›