Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is part of a workplace leave policy allowing an employee to take time off after a family member passes away. Some companies offer paid bereavement leave up to a certain number of days (which can vary based on the closeness of the family member). Others require employees to take unpaid time off to grieve a loss, manage any last affairs, and attend the funeral and other related events.

Although no federal law mandates employers to provide bereavement leave, various states have enacted legislation related to time off after a death in the family.

  • California: Employers with 5+ employees are required to provide up to five days off when certain family members pass away. It can be unpaid, but employees must be permitted to use their accrued PTO or sick time.
  • Illinois: Employers with 50+ employees are required to provide up to 10 days off for the death of certain family members or fertility losses. It can be unpaid.
  • Maryland: The Maryland Flexible Leave Act requires employers with 15+ employees to use vacation time, sick time, or other accrued PTO after the death of a parent, spouse, or child.
  • Washington: Any employee who qualifies for family leave is also entitled to up to 7 days of paid leave after the death of a child.
  • Oregon: Under the Oregon Family Leave Act, employers with 25+ employees are required to provide up to 14 days off after the death of certain family members.

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