Last fall, California enacted a new law, effective January 1, 2024 that creates a new leave of absence right under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for a reproductive loss.  Employees must be allowed to take up to 5 days (which do not have to consecutive) of leave following a reproductive loss event.  A reproductive loss event means a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful assisted reproduction (i.e., artificial insemination).  If an employee experiences more than one reproductive loss event in a 12-month period, the employer can disallow leave in excess of 20 days in that 12-month period.  The leave is unpaid, but the employee must be permitted to utilize accrued paid time off, including paid sick leave.  Reproductive loss leave must be completed within 3 months of the reproductive loss event, unless the employee takes FMLA/CFRA leave, in which case any reproductive loss leave may be taken within 3 months of the conclusion of that leave.

Employers should review employee handbooks to add a reproductive loss leave policy and/or implement a free-standing policy that is accessible to employees.

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Photo of Robin E. Largent Robin E. Largent

Robin Largent has been advising and defending employers for over twenty years, primarily in California state and federal courts.  Robin’s practice focuses on the defense of wage and hour class and representative (PAGA) actions.  Robin’s practice also focuses heavily on compliance and advice…

Robin Largent has been advising and defending employers for over twenty years, primarily in California state and federal courts.  Robin’s practice focuses on the defense of wage and hour class and representative (PAGA) actions.  Robin’s practice also focuses heavily on compliance and advice on best practices to prevent and mitigate the risks of employment litigation.  Robin also regularly defends employers ranging from small, locally owned businesses to large national corporations in single plaintiff employment litigation involving claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and wrongful termination.  Robin has substantial appellate experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal courts on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, novel issues of interpretation of wage and hour laws, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.  Finally, Robin is well-known for her former role as Editor and primary author of the California Labor and Employment Law Blog for close to a decade.