Only 60 percent of private workers in the United States have access to some form of bereavement leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For part-time workers, this benefit is even scarcer. On Dec. 7, 2020, I introduced the Bereavement Leave Act of 2021 (AB 95) to ensure all California residents receive a minimum amount of time to grieve.
The bill would allow workers to take unpaid, job-protected bereavement leave upon the death of an immediate family member. Workers at small businesses — those that employ fewer than 25 people — would have the right to take up to three days of unpaid bereavement leave. Workers at businesses with 25 or more employees would have the right to take up to 10 days of unpaid bereavement leave.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of 2 million people across the world, including 35,000 men, women and children here in California. AB 95 is urgently needed to protect those who have lost family members and give them the proper amount of time to grieve. However, the benefits of this bill also would extend beyond the pandemic.
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Assemblymember, 28th District - San Jose/Silicon Valley
Chair, Committee on Business & Professions