California Death in Family: What you need to know

Private sector employees. California law does not require bereavement time off for employees working in the private sector.
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State employees. State employees may take 3 days of bereavement leave with pay upon the death of a person related by blood, adoption, or marriage, or any person residing in the employee's immediate household at the time of death. The employee must give advance notice to his or her immediate supervisor and must provide substantiation.
If the death occurred outside the state, the employee may be granted, upon request, 2 additional days of bereavement leave, which the employee can choose to take as unpaid leave or charge against accrued sick leave. If additional time is needed, the employee may use accrued vacation, compensating time, or days without pay if authorized (CA Gov. Code Sec. 19859.3).
Offering support and assistance to an employee who has suffered a loss in his or her family can be difficult because people are often unsure about how to respond to the employee's loss. However, the bereaved employee will usually appreciate the offer of assistance and support from the workplace.
Managers and supervisors can be particularly helpful in communications with the employee: making sure that he or she understands and uses available bereavement leave benefits; conveying to coworkers information the employee wants communicated (e.g., time and place of memorial service); assuring the employee that work is being handled. Managers can also help interested volunteers organize a system to provide meals, babysitting services, transportation, and other assistance to the bereaved employee. Most companies arrange for flowers to be sent, and many employers have a representative ...

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