Compliance Matters TM

California Passes Bill Implementing New Unpaid Leave For Reproductive Loss

The California legislature recently passed SB 848, the first California law providing unpaid leave for reproductive loss. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2024, and will require a covered employer to grant an eligible employee’s request to take unpaid leave following a reproductive loss event.


Acting as a part of California’s Bereavement Leave law, SB 848 expands an employee’s leave entitlements for a “reproductive loss event." As defined by the statute, a “reproductive loss” includes a miscarriage, failed surrogacy, stillbirth, unsuccessful “assisted reproduction” (such as artificial insemination or embryo transfer), or failed adoption. California employers with five or more employees are covered under the law and only those employees who have worked for the employer for at least 30 days are eligible to take advantage of this new leave. The law allows employees to take 5 days of unpaid leave after a reproductive loss.  Should an employee suffer more than one reproductive loss within a 12-month period, the employee is entitled to additional time off. However, an employer is not obligated to grant a total amount of leave in excess of 20 days within the 12-month period.

Eligible employees must take the leave within three months of the reproductive loss but must be permitted to take the leave on nonconsecutive days. Unless the employer has an existing policy requiring paid leave, the leave is unpaid. However, SB 848 gives eligible employees flexibility by enabling them to utilize other accrued leave balances otherwise available to them such as sick leave, for reproductive loss leave. The bill also forbids employers from retaliating against employees for requesting or utilizing reproductive loss leave.

Next Steps for Employers

Because SB 848 creates a new, first of its kind leave for reproductive loss, covered California employers should update their policies accordingly to ensure compliance. Employers should revise their employee training materials, policies, and employee handbooks to include this new leave entitlement. Human resources and management personnel should also be notified and/or trained regarding the statute's requirements.

As always, if you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at (818) 508-3700 or visit us online at


Richard S. Rosenberg

Katherine A. Hren

Danny S. Ivanov
LinkedIn Share This Email


15760 Ventura Boulevard

18th Floor

Encino, CA 91436



18067 West Catawba Avenue

Suite 201

Cornelius, NC 28031



3 Park Plaza

Suite 1520

Irvine, CA 92614