There is no law requiring it, but most employers provide paid time off to employees when there is a death in the employee's immediate family. The most common length of bereavement leave is 3 days per year. Employers may set whatever bereavement leave policy they want. The policy should apply to all employees uniformly and be enforced consistently.
Written policy. Like any other leave, bereavement leave should be a matter of policy. Employers should include the policy in the employee handbook if they have one, post it, or distribute it with other rules and regulations of the workplace. It should be enforced consistently.
Who is "immediate family?" Definitions of immediate family may differ from employer to employer. Some employers include in the definition those with whom the employee had a close relationship (e.g., a person who lived with the employee or a person who cared for the employee in the absence of a parent). Employers should consider whether an unmarried partner in a couple is considered family. Some states require an employer to provide the same benefits to an employee with a domestic or civil union partner as it provides to an employee with a spouse. In states that legally recognize same-sex marriage, employers are required to provide the same benefits to same-sex spouses that are provided to opposite-sex spouses. Detailed information is available.
Some employers allow 3 days of leave for a death in the immediate family and 1 day of leave to attend the funeral of a relative not included in the definition of "immediate family." Other employers allow unpaid leave to attend the funeral of someone not related to the employee (e.g., a close friend or co-worker). Employers are free to create a ...