Beginning in 2024, a new law in California will let parents who have lost a child through a miscarriage or stillbirth take time off from work. A change to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Senate Bill 848, gave people this time off from work. The bill says that a company can’t say no when an eligible worker asks to take up to five days of leave for reproductive loss after a reproductive loss event.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 848 into law on Oct. 11, 2023. It will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. It includes events that happen during pregnancy that don’t end in birth or adoption, like a miscarriage or death, as well as failed surrogacy, IVF, or embryo transfer. That person can use reproductive loss leave if they would have been a parent if the loss hadn’t happened.
Reproductive Loss Leave Pay
During reproductive loss leave, employees are not paid, but SB 848 allows them to use any earned leave, including paid sick leave and personal hours. Employees can also choose to take time off without pay with no consequences.
Exceptions to Reproductive Loss Leave
Let us say that an employee loses more than one baby in a year. SB 848 says that if that happens, the company doesn’t have to give more than 20 days of reproductive loss leave in a year.