California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an amendment to the Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act (the Act) to allow California employees who have worked at least 90 days additional leave of absence for the purpose of organ donation.   Effective January 1, 2020, organ donors in California are entitled to an additional 30 business days of unpaid leave under the Act.

The Act currently requires private employers with 15 or more employees to provide employees up to 30 business days of paid leave for organ donation and up to 5 business days of paid leave for bone marrow donation in a one-year period (measured from the date the employee’s leave begins over the continuing 12 months).  The amendment to the Act grants an additional 30 business days of unpaid leave to organ donors. Employees are still required to provide their employers with written verification of their participation in either organ donation or bone marrow donation. The verification also must include information that the procedure is medically necessary.

Leave Program Considerations

Employers can require employees to first take up to two weeks of accrued paid leave for organ donation and up to five days of accrued paid leave for bone marrow donation. However, leave under the Act shall not be provided concurrently with job-protected leave taken pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

Time spent by employees on leave under the Act as amended does not constitute a break in service for the purpose of seniority, paid time off, sick leave, or vacation and employers are required to maintain and pay for health insurance coverage on the same terms as prior to the leave.

Additional Resources:

Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act

Family and Medical Leave Act

California Family Rights Act

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Lizet Ramirez – Lizet is a Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia One, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Lizet enjoys live music, travel, hiking and spa days.