New California Law Prioritizes Workers with Reproductive Loss Leave


California is taking a significant step towards supporting families grappling with the emotional devastation of reproductive loss. 

Starting in 2024, a groundbreaking law will mandate time off for workers facing miscarriage, stillbirth, failed IVF, unsuccessful adoptions, and similar painful circumstances.

Mother Esmiralda Garcia, who sadly lost her full-term stillborn daughter, Camille, in May 2015, told CBS13 her heartbreaking tale. Garcia remembered, “I was waiting to give birth to her, and she was stillborn.” The experience was terrible not just for her but also had a significant impact on her husband and two small boys, “so it was pretty horrifying.”

In response to the shared experiences of families like the Garcias, Senator Susan Rubio spearheaded Senate Bill 848, aimed at providing employment leave for reproductive loss. “Everyone’s been touched by either miscarriage or a loss of trying to become a family,” Sen. Rubio expressed, emphasizing the bill’s far-reaching relevance.

The legislation mandates that California companies with five or more employees must offer bereavement leave for reproductive loss. 

California’s Compassionate Legislation

California is taking a significant step towards supporting families grappling with the emotional devastation of reproductive loss.

This leave encompasses five days of protected time off per quarter, up to a maximum of 20 days per year, acknowledging the necessity for families to grieve and heal without fear of employment repercussions.

Sen. Rubio highlighted the law’s inclusive nature, acknowledging its impact on LGBTQ couples pursuing adoption and other non-traditional families striving to build a home. “We are trying to protect a worker’s right to come back to work without retaliation,” Rubio emphasized, underscoring the importance of providing a safe space for grieving families.

Esmiralda Garcia found solace amidst her grief by channeling her emotions into a succulent business in honor of her late daughter, Camille. “That was her purpose, that was Camille’s purpose, and that’s how I want to think of it,” Garcia shared. Her initiative aims to support and bring solace to other families navigating reproductive loss.

While the pain of losing a child can never fully fade, California’s new law signifies a compassionate stride toward acknowledging and supporting families during their darkest times. It’s a beacon of hope for many who have suffered similar heartbreaking losses, offering both time and space for healing and renewal.

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