California Workplace Leave for Organ Donation and Bone Marrow Donors

Earlier this month, the Governor approved a new senate bill amending and clarifying California law on organ and bone marrow donation leave.  Here is a quick summary:

•         Employers with 15 or more employees must provide paid leave to employees undergoing organ or bone marrow donation procedures.

•         Employee requesting leave must provide employer written verification that s/he is a donor and that it is medically necessary.

•         Employees are entitled to the following paid leave in a one-year period:

– Organ donation – up to 30 business days (not calendar days)

– Bone marrow donation – up to 5 business days.

•         Employees on leave must be treated as actively working.  The leave provided may not be considered a break in service for purposes of salary adjustments, sick leave, vacation, paid time off, or seniority.

•         Organ and bone marrow donation leave is in addition to FMLA or Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act and cannot be taken concurrently.

•         Employers may require that the employee take earned but unused sick leave, vacation, or paid time off:

– Organ donation – not to exceed 2 weeks

– Bone marrow donation – not to exceed 5 days

•         Interference with an employee’s right to leave or retaliation for taking leave could entitle an employee to injunctive relief, a montenary award, and even attorney’s fees.

For the visual among us, this may help.  (This is why I became a lawyer and not an artist.)

click to view non-contorted picture

PRACTICAL TIP:  Make sure that the organ and bone marrow donation leave policy is in your employee handbook.  If you require employees to use earned but unused sick leave, vacation, or paid time off first, be sure to specify that policy in your handbook.

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In: Employment Law

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