New California IVF/Miscarriage Law 2024 – All You Need to Know

New California IVF/Miscarriage Law 2024 – All You Need to Know
Apr 17, 2024

As of 2024, there is a new California IVF/miscarriage law. It’s important as an employee that you are aware of this new law and how it could potentially apply to you or your loved ones. The new law was created to provide more support to employees who experience unfortunate reproductive losses such as miscarriages, stillbirths, or other issues. An experienced employment attorney can help explain these changes to eligible employees.

Overview

California Governor Gavin Newsome signed SB 848 into law in October 2023. This new law requires employers to allow employees at least five days of protective leave. Previous California state laws allowed employees to take bereavement following the death of a loved one or family member, but this new law addresses reproductive losses from pregnancies that were left unaddressed by the previous law.

Eligible Employees

Employees who have been with their employer for more than thirty days and work for an employer with at least five employees—this can include public or private companies—qualify for bereavement leave if they experience a reproductive loss.

The protected leave does not have to be used consecutively but it does have to be used within three months of the loss event. In situations where an employee suffers from multiple loss events in a twelve-month period, the employee is eligible for up to twenty days of protected leave. The protected leave is unpaid unless specifically stated otherwise in the employer’s already established policy.

Also note that an employee taking leave must also be permitted to take any necessary vacation, sick time, or other paid time off.

Reproductive Loss Event

A reproductive loss event can include a day, multiple days, or the final day of a miscarriage, failed adoption, failed surrogacy, unsuccessful assisted reproduction, or stillbirth. An assisted reproduction event can include procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). It is also important to understand that leave is available to would-be parents, which includes the non-birthing parent.

Confidentiality

It’s crucial to remember that California employees have a right to privacy in the workplace. California employers are required to maintain a certain level of confidentiality of information provided by the employee requesting leave.

As an employee, you need to understand that employers are required to respect your privacy and confidentiality. It should also be noted that under SB 848, employers are not allowed to request documentation from the employee. If your employer demands documentation, they are in violation of the law.

Important Steps for Employers

California employers must review their current policies and procedures and understand how they fit into the new law. It may be necessary to amend existing policies or draft new ones related to reproductive loss leave. Managers and human resources staff need to be properly trained and educated on the new law and ensure that they are prepared for possible leave requests from their eligible employees.

FAQs

Q: Do I Need an Attorney if I Am Denied Reproductive Loss Leave?

A: You are not required to have an attorney if you are denied reproductive loss leave; however, if you intend to file a claim against your employer, retaining an attorney is likely a smart idea. They can support your legal case by helping you gather evidence and correctly filing applicable paperwork. They can also advise you on how to proceed if your employer retaliates against you for filing the claim. It is possible to do this without an attorney, but their knowledge can be invaluable.

Q: What Is the Reproductive Loss Leave in California?

A: The reproductive loss leave in California allows eligible employees to take up to five days of leave following a reproductive loss event. A reproductive loss incident could be a miscarriage, stillbirth, failed surrogacy, unsuccessful assisted reproduction, or failed adoption. This leave is important for employees to take advantage of. Nearly 20% of all pregnancies end in some form of miscarriage. This tragic loss can lead to serious mental, emotional, and physical distress for affected individuals. It’s important for employees to take the necessary time off.

Q: Does a Miscarriage Qualify for Bereavement Leave in California?

A: Yes, miscarriage does qualify for bereavement leave in California. A miscarriage falls under a reproductive loss event. If you have questions regarding what can qualify for bereavement leave with your employer, you should engage the help of a California employment law attorney for help. Under California law, if you work for an employer that has five or more employees, and you have been employed for at least thirty days, then your employer is required to grant you bereavement leave for your miscarriage.

Q: What Is the SB 848 Policy?

A: The SB 848 policy is a senate bill that makes it unlawful for employers to refuse to grant an employee’s request for bereavement leave. If the employee experiences a qualified reproductive loss event as defined under California law and is eligible, then the employer must allow them up to five days off. The bill also stipulates that if an employee experiences more than one reproductive loss in a twelve-month period, the employee is authorized twenty days off within a twelve-month period.

An Attorney Ready to Support You

It’s important that California residents understand the new laws and regulations regarding IVF and miscarriage. These can be unfortunate situations, and it’s important that your employer provides you with all the support allowable under state law. If you have any questions or concerns surrounding your employer’s willingness to follow the law on a reproductive loss event, you should engage the help of a qualified and experienced law firm.

At Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP, our legal team is ready and able to assist in all matters pertaining to California employment law. Our attorneys have a demonstrated history of helping individuals across the state of California resolve legal issues with their employers. It is important that you have someone on your side providing you with the necessary advice.

We can help ensure your employer follows the law and hold them accountable if they refuse. Contact our office today to speak with a member of our legal team.

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