California recently passed SB 848, effective January 1, 2024, introducing a significant development in employment law. This bill mandates Reproductive Loss Leave, aimed at supporting employees facing the emotional and physical toll of reproductive loss events. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of what this legislation entails and how it affects both employers and employees.

Coverage and Eligibility:

SB 848 applies to employers with five or more employees, extending its benefits to a broader spectrum of workers. To qualify for this leave, an employee must have been employed for at least 30 days before beginning the leave, with no restriction on the number of hours worked.

Nature of Leave:

This legislation provides for five days of leave following a reproductive loss event. A “reproductive loss event” encompasses various scenarios such as failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction.

Flexibility in Usage:

The five days of leave need not be taken consecutively but must be used within three months of the reproductive loss event. However, if an employee is on other state or federal leave before or right after a reproductive loss event, this reproductive loss leave must be completed within three months of the other leave’s end date.

Limitations and Additional Provisions:

If an employee experiences multiple reproductive loss events within a 12-month period, the total leave granted is capped at 20 days within that timeframe. This leave is unpaid unless the employer has an existing policy providing compensation. Employees can use accrued vacation, personal leave, sick leave, or compensatory time off.

Employees do not have to provide any documentation supporting their need for reproductive loss leave, ensuring privacy and respect during such sensitive times. Employers are mandated to maintain confidentiality regarding the employee’s situation.

This leave is distinct and separate from other forms of leave, such as CFRA (California Family Rights Act) leave, pregnancy disability leave, disability-related accommodations, bereavement leave, or other leaves covered by FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Act).


SB 848 stands as a significant step forward in acknowledging and supporting individuals navigating reproductive loss. It not only provides essential time off for healing and coping but also ensures a level of flexibility and confidentiality crucial during such emotionally challenging periods.

Employers should familiarize themselves with this legislation to ensure compliance and create a supportive environment for their employees during vulnerable times.

Reproductive loss is a deeply personal and emotionally taxing experience. SB 848 is a meaningful stride toward recognizing and accommodating the needs of individuals facing such hardships within the workplace, fostering a more empathetic and understanding work culture in California.

If you need help with reproductive loss leave, contact the Nuddleman Law Firm. Robert Nuddleman has been helping employers understand and follow the law for over 25 years. He also helps employees who experience difficulties in the workplace, including denial of protected leaves.