California's New "Bereavement Leave" Law


Effective January, 2023, California implemented new employee bereavement rights. The new law requires all CA employers with 5 or more employees to grant a 5-day “bereavement” leave for immediate family members. This includes a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or parent-in-law. In addition, an employer may voluntarily allow bereavement leave to be taken upon the death of another person with whom the employee has a relationship.


Job Protected Leave vs. Paid Leave

There are two important distinctions to be made. The law says employers must grant 5 days of “job protected leave” but are not required to give “paid leave of 5 days”

For example, some employers currently give 3 days of “paid bereavement leave” per death of an immediate family member. With the new law, it will be important to advise employees that while they are now entitled to 5 days of “job protected leave”, their employer will compensate them for only 3 of those. They may use PTO or take the remaining 2 days unpaid.


Bereavement Leave FAQ

The Civil Rights Department (CRD), which enforces this right to bereavement leave, created this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to help employers and employees understand this new right.

For more information, contact, Toll free: 800.884.1684.


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