AB 1949: Employers Required to Provide 5 Days of Bereavement Leave

AB 1949: New requirement for employers to provide 5 days of bereavement leave

AB 1949 makes it an unlawful employment practice for a covered employer to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take up to 5 days of bereavement leave (which need not be consecutive) upon the death of a family member. A “covered” employer is: (i) a person who employs 5 or more persons to perform services for a wage or salary; and (ii) the State and any political or civil subdivision of the State, including, but not limited to cities and counties. An “eligible” employee means a person employed by the employer for at least 30 days prior to the commencement of the leave. A “family member” means a spouse or a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law as defined in Government Code Section 12945.2

The law provides that bereavement leave may be unpaid, except that an employee may use vacation, personal leave, accrued and available sick leave, or compensatory time off that is otherwise available to the employee.

The law requires that the leave be completed within 3 months of the date of death.

The law also requires employees, if requested by the employer, within 30 days of the first day of the leave, to provide documentation of the death of the family member.

“Documentation” includes, but is not limited to, a death certificate, a published obituary, or written verification of death, burial, or memorial services from a mortuary, funeral home, burial society, crematorium, religious institution, or governmental agency.

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