Bereavement leave is leave taken by an employee due to the death of family member or loved one. The time is usually taken by an employee to grieve the loss of a close family member, prepare for and attend a funeral, and/or attend to any other immediate post-death matters.
Currently, there are no federal laws that require employers to provide employees either paid or unpaid leave. Moreover, California law does not require private sector employers to provide bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals, either paid or unpaid. California public employees (those who work for the government), however, are currently entitled to up to three days of paid bereavement leave. California state employees must provide documentation of bereavement leave, such as a death certificate or obituary. If the death was out of state, the employee can take two additional unpaid days off.
Although California law may not specifically require private sector employers to provide bereavement to employees, employers may voluntarily allow employees to take bereavement leave. Larger employers typically have employee handbooks, manuals, or policies that provide employees with bereavement leave. Many smaller employers may also have employee handbooks, manuals, or policies that provide employees with bereavement leave, Information about and copies of handbooks, manuals, or policies are typically available from managers, human resource managers or specialists, and/or supervisors.
For those employers that do not have a formal bereavement leave policy found in a handbook, manual or written policies, they may have an unwritten policy or practice of allowing employees to take time off to bereave. If an employer develops a policy or practice to provide employees time off to bereave, government agencies (e.g. departments of labor) and courts typically require the employer to comply with the terms of their policy or practice. Also, employers may be required to permit employees who are members of unions to take bereavement leave if their collective bargaining agreements allow it.
Furthermore, employers may be required to allow employees to take personal, sick, or vacation leave to attend a funeral and/or bereave for the loss of a family member or loved one.
If employees wish to take time off to make funeral arrangements or mourn, they can use accrued time off or compensatory time.
If you have any further questions or need additional information about bereavement leave, please contact me for a FREE confidential consultation at (916) 333-4653 or Stephen_Fiegel_Esq@comcast.net.
Copyright Law Office of Stephen Fiegel – All rights reserved.