California Enacts New Time Off Requirements

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California Enacts New Time Off Requirements

January 03, 2024

As we begin 2024, employers with California locations should be aware of two new time off requirements in the Golden State. Both of the following went into effect on January 1, 2024.

Reproductive Loss Leave

SB 848 (Chapter 724, Statutes of 2023) makes it an unlawful practice for an employer to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take up to five days of leave following a reproductive loss. The new law applies to employers with at least five employees as well as the state and local public agencies, including K-12 schools and community colleges.

An employee is eligible for this leave if they have been employed by the employer for at least 30 days prior to beginning the leave. Both women and men are eligible for the leave. Reproductive loss events entitling employees to leave include:

  • Failed adoption, which means the dissolution or breach of an adoption agreement with the birth mother or legal guardian, or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party. This event applies to a person who would have been a parent of the adoptee if the adoption had been completed.
  • Failed surrogacy, defined as the dissolution or breach of a surrogacy agreement, or a failed embryo transfer to the surrogate. This event applies to a person who would have been a parent of a child born as a result of the surrogacy.
  • Miscarriage by the employee, the employee’s current spouse or domestic partner or by another person if the employee would have been a parent of a child born as a result of the pregnancy (as in a surrogacy arrangement or adoption agreement).
  • Stillbirth resulting from the employee’s pregnancy, the pregnancy of the employee’s current spouse or domestic partner, or another person if the employee would have been a parent of a child born as a result of the pregnancy that ended in stillbirth.
  • Unsuccessful assisted reproduction, defined as an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure, including in vitro fertilization. This event applies to an employee, the employee’s current spouse or domestic partner, or another person, if the employee would have been a parent of a child born as a result of the pregnancy.

The leave may be taken in non-consecutive days, but should be taken within three months of the reproductive loss event. The leave entitlement is not concurrent with family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Pregnancy Disability Leave law (PDL), or any other state or federal leave law. This means that an employee on a state or federally-protected leave at the time of the reproductive loss will have three months from the end of that leave to take their five days of reproductive loss leave. An employee who experiences more than one reproductive loss event is entitled by the law to a total of 20 days of reproductive loss leave time within any 12-month period.

The law provides that the leave is to be taken pursuant to the employer’s existing applicable leave policy. In the absence of such a policy, the 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 them.

Employers are required by the law to maintain the confidentiality of any employee requesting a reproductive loss leave. It is an unlawful practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right provided under this law.

Paid Sick Time

SB 616 (Chapter 309, Statutes of 2023) amends the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 to increase the amount of paid sick days an employee is entitled under the law. Under the law as amended, an employer must provide no less than 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave to use by the 120th calendar day of employment, and no less than 40 hours or five days of paid sick leave by the employee’s 200th calendar day of employment, and a year-to-year carryover right of 40 hours or five days. It further increases an employee’s total accrual right from 48 hours or six days to 80 hours or ten days. SB 616 provides that its provisions preempt any contrary local ordinance, and applies to all California cities, including charter cities.


Keenan is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Clients are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities, and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the clients’ business activities.