Effective January 1, 2023, a new California statute, AB 1949, requires employers in California to give eligible employees up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave after the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner or parent-in-law.
The bill covers all public employers and private companies that employ five or more individuals in California. To be eligible, an employee must have worked for the employer for more than 30 days prior to the start of the leave.
The leave must be completed within three months of the date of death. The days of leave do not need to be consecutive.
If the employer already voluntarily offers paid or unpaid bereavement leave of fewer than five days, the employer must supplement this leave so that a total of five days total is available.
The leave required by the statute can be unpaid. Employees must, however, be able to use any paid leave, such as accrued vacation days or sick days.
The employer may require that the employee provide documentation of the death of the family member within 30 days after the first day of bereavement leave.
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