October 20, 2023

California’s SB 848 Creates new “Reproductive Loss” Leave

Starting January 1, 2024, California employers with five or more employees will be required to provide qualifying employees with five days of leave following a ‘reproductive loss.’

SB 848 makes it unlawful for a covered employer to refuse to grant Reproductive Leave (“Leave”) following a miscarriage, failed surrogacy, stillbirth, unsuccessful “assisted reproduction” (i.e., artificial insemination or embryo transfer), or failed adoption[i]. Additionally, the statute provides:

  • Qualified employees are those who have been employed for at least 30-days prior to the commencement of the Leave.
  • A leave cap of 20 days within a 12-month period for those who suffer more than one loss within the same time period.
  • Continuous or intermittent Leave that must complete within three months of the reproductive loss. However, if, prior to or immediately following a reproductive loss event, an employee is on or chooses to take leave pursuant to any protected state or federal leave, the Leave must be completed within three months of the end date of the other qualifying leave.
  • Leave may be unpaid, unless the employer’s policy states otherwise, except that an employee may use vacation, personal leave, accrued and available sick leave, or compensatory time off that is otherwise available.

The statute also protects employees exercising their rights under the statute against harassing, discriminatory or retaliatory conduct and mandates employer confidentiality

[i] As defined by the statute.