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Thread: bereavement; immediate family California

  1. #1
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    Question bereavement; immediate family California

    I need to know if there is a law in the state of CA or federally that states who counts as immediate family as far as bereavement goes.
    do Grandparents count?
    Also, can an employee be terminated due to leaving early when a family member is in ICU and on their death bed, even if the employer did not give permission.

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    There is no Federal law and no law in any state that determines who must be considered immediate family for purposes of bereavement leave. In fact, there is no Federal law and no law in any state that determines that bereavement leave must be granted at all.

    Unless the family member meets the eligibility requirements for a qualified beneficiary under FMLA, the employer does not have to approve time off for a family members' illness. While I can certainly understand why an employee might not stop to get permission to leave in the circumstances you describe, it is not illegal if the employee is fired for walking off the job without permission.

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    There are no laws requiring bereavement leave.

    Companies may allow it, but are not required to do so. They can define the conditions under which such leave may be paid. We had an employee attempt to take bereavement leave for the deaths of three grandmothers. The first two did not bother us. The third one did. He no longer works for us.

    If you leave work without permission, don't be surprised when you are fired.

    The termination will not be illegal. The State will decide if your departure without permission was misconduct or not (misconduct will likely disqualify you from getting unemployment benefits).
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    On Tuesday, September 4, 2007, the California State Assembly passed SB 549 (Corbett), a bill which would grant California employees the right to take bereavement leave upon the death of a family member. Currently, California law provides no leave protection to employees who experience the death of a close family member; employers may deny such employees time off to grieve, to make funeral arrangments, or to attend funeral services. SB 549 fills that gap by granting employees up to 4 days of unpaid time off upon the death of a family member, and protects employees who take such leave from reprisal or discharge.

    SB 549 now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote, and then on to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk for his signature.

    However, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    So, since the bill was vetoed, there is no such law. Right?

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    Default thank you for replying so quickly

    I want to thank all of you for replying so quickly! The situation is my husbands grandmother is on her death bed, she survived a surgery yesterday evening beyond all odds, they are still not sure how much longer she will make it, his employer denied him permission to leave work yesterday to go say what at the time we thought would be his final goodbyes to her.
    He went anyways, and luckily did not get fired.
    His company does provide bereavement leave, however they apparently do not include grandparents in immediate family, only parents, spouses, siblings and children.
    I certainly appreciate all of your input and intend to use this website in the future for such questions! Who knew there was this much knowledge out there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    So, since the bill was vetoed, there is no such law. Right?
    Definitely agree. I was just posting for anyone that was interested that Ca. did try to pass a bereavement leave law just last year but the governor said no. I didn't mean to confuse the OP or anyone. I've seem other posters post "such" info just for reference or interest.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    I think it was the way you posted it that made it confusing. If you'd started out by saying, no, there isn't any law currently, but here's the history of an attempt to implement such a law, that would have made it easier. As you posted it, it sounded until the very last sentence that such a law had gone into effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty3 View Post
    Definitely agree. I was just posting for anyone that was interested that Ca. did try to pass a bereavement leave law just last year but the governor said no. I didn't mean to confuse the OP or anyone. I've seem other posters post "such" info just for reference or interest.
    I find it interesting that it made it to Arnie's desk. But for him, it would be law. Expect similar laws to be popping up all over the place. Some will die in committee, some will die on the floor, some will be vetoed, but, eventually, a few will pass.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    I think it was the way you posted it that made it confusing. If you'd started out by saying, no, there isn't any law currently, but here's the history of an attempt to implement such a law, that would have made it easier. As you posted it, it sounded until the very last sentence that such a law had gone into effect.
    Oh, ok - I understand.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    Also, can an employee be terminated due to leaving early when a family member is in ICU and on their death bed, even if the employer did not give permission.
    233. (a) Any employer who provides sick leave for employees shall
    permit an employee to use in any calendar year the employee's accrued
    and available sick leave entitlement, in an amount not less than the
    sick leave that would be accrued during six months at the employee's
    then current rate of entitlement, to attend to an illness of a
    child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner of the employee. All
    conditions and restrictions placed by the employer upon the use by an
    employee of sick leave also shall apply
    to the use by an employee of
    sick leave to attend to an illness of his or her child, parent,
    spouse, or domestic partner.
    This section does not extend the
    maximum period of leave to which an employee is entitled under
    Section 12945.2 of the Government Code or under the federal Family
    and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 2606 et seq.),
    regardless of whether the employee receives sick leave compensation
    during that leave.
    (b) As used in this section:
    (1) "Child" means a biological, foster, or adopted child, a
    stepchild, a legal ward, a child of a domestic partner, or a child of
    a person standing in loco parentis.
    (2) "Employer" means any person employing another under any
    appointment or contract of hire and includes the state, political
    subdivisions of the state, and municipalities.
    (3) "Parent" means a biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a
    stepparent, or a legal guardian.
    (4) "Sick leave" means accrued increments of compensated leave
    provided by an employer to an employee as a benefit of the employment
    for use by the employee during an absence from the employment for
    any of the following reasons:
    (A) The employee is physically or mentally unable to perform his
    or her duties due to illness, injury, or a medical condition of the
    employee.
    (B) The absence is for the purpose of obtaining professional
    diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition of the employee.

    (C) The absence is for other medical reasons of the employee, such
    as pregnancy or obtaining a physical examination.
    "Sick leave" does not include any benefit provided under an
    employee welfare benefit plan subject to the federal Employee
    Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-406, as
    amended) and does not include any insurance benefit, workers'
    compensation benefit, unemployment compensation disability benefit,
    or benefit not payable from the employer's general assets.
    (c) No employer shall deny an employee the right to use sick leave
    or discharge, threaten to discharge, demote, suspend, or in any
    manner discriminate against an employee for using, or attempting to
    exercise the right to use, sick leave to attend to an illness of a
    child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner of the employee.
    (d) Any employee aggrieved by a violation of this section shall be
    entitled to reinstatement and actual damages or one day's pay,
    whichever is greater, and to appropriate equitable relief.
    (e) Upon the filing of a complaint by an employee, the Labor
    Commissioner shall enforce the provisions of this section in
    accordance with the provisions of Chapter 4 (commencing with Section
    79) of Division 1, including, but not limited to, Sections 92, 96.7,
    98, and 98.1 to 98.8, inclusive. Alternatively, an employee may
    bring a civil action for the remedies provided by this section in a
    court of competent jurisdiction. If the employee prevails, the court
    may award reasonable attorney's fees.
    (f) The rights and remedies specified in this section are
    cumulative and nonexclusive and are in addition to any other rights
    or remedies afforded by contract or under other provisions of law.



    234. An employer absence control policy that counts sick leave
    taken pursuant to Section 233 as an absence that may lead to or
    result in discipline, discharge, demotion, or suspension is a per se
    violation of Section 233. An employee working under this policy is
    entitled to appropriate legal and equitable relief pursuant to
    Section 233.
    I have been interested in employment rights for some time, however I am not a lawyer. Always consult with an attorney, as they are more knowledgeable.

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