Skip to main content

Bereavement Leave for State of California Employees

Those working for the State know that the paid leave is one of the great benefits of the job. This article looks at one of the types of paid leave State of California employees are entitled to.

What is Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is a special type of job-protected time off following the death of a qualified family member. This can be a family member related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Bereavement leave can also be taken for anyone living in your immediate household, whether they are related or not. We'll go into more detail about who is considered a qualified family member later in this article.

State of California Bereavement Leave

Beginning January 1, 2023 there were some changes to bereavement leave for State of California employees. That updated policy can be found here. All employees in California, not just those that work for the State, can take up to five days of leave following the death of a covered family member. This means that an employer cannot deny an employee's request to take this time off for bereavement.

But, while law mandates that employees be allowed 5 days off after the death of a family member, it doesn't require it to be paid time off. Whether or not its paid will depend on your employer. The State of California, as an employer, does provide paid bereavement leave to its employees.

So, all State of California employees are entitled to take 5 days of leave following the death of a family member. But the number of those days that will paid will depend on whether you are a rank and file or an excluded employee and the specific bargaining unit contract you're covered by.

If you're needing to take bereavement leave, refer to your bargaining unit's contract and talk to your HR department about what leave benefits you're able to use.

Bereavement leave is different for rank & file employees then it is for excluded employees. We'll take a look at the benefits for rank & file employees first.

Bereavement Leave for State Rank & File

State of California rank & file employees are entitled to 5 days of paid bereavement for the death of a qualifying person. A qualifying person includes a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, and grandchild. The 5 days of leave do not be use consecutively but they must be used within 3 months following the death.

Employees who have worked for the state for less than 30 days are not eligible for bereavement leave.

Nearly all California State rank & file employees are eligible for 3 days of paid leave for bereavement. But, as previously discussed, the amount of bereavement leave that will be paid will depend on the bargaining unit contract you're covered by. It's also important to check your bargaining contract because the kind of required documentation can differ among the units. Some contracts also have stipulations that allow for taking extra time if the family member lives far away.

For the 2 days that rank & file State employees are entitled to take off that aren't covered by bereavement leave pay, there are a couple of options available. The first option is to take a dock. That is a taking an unpaid absence from work. The second is to use accrued vacation or sick leave.

In summary, all state employees are entitled to take 5 days of leave following the death of a qualified family member. Most of those employees are also eligible to use paid bereavement leave for 3 of those 5 days. The 2 remaining days of available bereavement leave can either be unpaid (docked) or paid using accrued time off.

Bereavement Leave for Excluded State employees

Bereavement leave for excluded employees is similar to that of rank & file employees. Like all State employees they are entitled to take 5 days of leave following the death of a qualified family member. Three of those days can be paid with two additional days available to take off which can be unpaid or covered using accrued leave benefits. Some other small differences exist for excluded employees, but the general rules are the same. You can refer to the full, updated CalHR bereavement leave policy here.

Thanks for reading!

Related Articles:


Popular posts from this blog