Clarity on AB 1949 – California’s New Bereavement Leave Law

California has enacted a new bereavement leave requirement into law, effective January 1, 2023. The new law requires employers with five or more employees, including those covered by a collective bargaining agreement, to provide up to five days of unpaid leave to eligible employees for the death of a family member. The bill defines “family member” as a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law of the employee.

There seems to be confusion within the industry on if the bereavement leave authorized under AB 1949 is paid or unpaid. Upon introduction, we worked with the author to ensure the leave was “unpaid leave” and that the proposed law was not changed to “paid leave” throughout the legislative process. To be clear, AB 1949 does not provide any new state mandated paid time off. With that in mind, while on bereavement leave, an employee can use other available paid time off such as vacation pay, personal leave, or sick leave that they may have accrued.

Under the new law, bereavement leave is only available to employees who have worked for the employer for at least thirty days prior to the commencement of the leave. The five days of leave do not need to be taken consecutively but must be completed within three months of the death of the family member.

Employers are allowed to confirm the need for leave by asking for documentation, such as a death certificate, a published obituary, or a written verification of death, burial, or memorial services from a funeral home or other applicable entity. The request from the employer for documentation must occur within thirty days of the employee’s first day of leave.

The bill includes enforcement provisions that allow employees to file claims against employers who prevent them from taking bereavement leave or who take adverse employment actions against employees who take their leave. However, an especially crucial point for employers is that the bill is codified under the California Government Code and not the California Labor Code. This means that, while employers may see retaliation claims stemming from this new law, employees will not be able to file claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) for any alleged violations.

Recent Posts

CA Prevailing Wage Updates and Skilled and Trained Workforce Primer Webinar

Join us to learn about CA Prevailing Wage laws – a brief overview of what it is, any changes to the law, common errors contractors make and how to best comply. We will also review the expansion of skilled and…

November 21, 2022

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Relief Grant Program Becomes Law

Governor Newsom has signed AB 152 (Committee on Budget) which implements the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Relief Grant Program for which the industry strongly advocated. Securing funding and launching this program is a major achievement. The new law establishes…

October 3, 2022

Architect’s Newspaper – Facades+ in Los Angeles

        In its 10th year, Facades+ continues to bring together the world’s most talented building professionals. Here are some of the themes we’ll explore at Facades+ Los Angeles: Classical Performance Through Modern Computation Drawdown: The Decarbonization and…

September 28, 2022

SCGMA YPG Event Recap – Merit Aluminum Tour

On Friday, September 9th, the SCGMA Young Professionals Group held their third quarterly event of 2022 – a tour of Merit Aluminum. Several YPG members from various SCGMA contractor businesses joined to learn more about finishing extruders – how they’re…

September 28, 2022

SCGMA YPG Q4 Event – Making Glass Come to Life Webinar, Guardian Glass

Join us for a quick 30 minute webinar on “Making Glass Come to Life: The Principles of Glass Selection”. Presenter: Reece Poth, Guardian Glass Presentation Overview: The presentation reviews the foundations of glass selection and explores options for meeting both…

September 28, 2022
MORE STORIES