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New law clarifies leave for organ, bone marrow donors

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that spells out insurance and time-off requirements related to California’s new law that guarantees paid leave for employees who donate organs and bone marrow.

That law, which took effect Jan. 1, 2011, grants up to 30 days of paid leave per year to organ donors and up to five days for bone marrow donors. Employers of 15 or more workers are required to comply.

The new legislation, S.B. 272, requires employers to maintain health insurance coverage for employees while they are out on organ and bone marrow donation leave. It also clarifies that the 30 days of paid organ donation leave are business days rather than calendar days.

The law also makes clear that the one-year period referenced in the law refers to 12 consecutive months rather than a calendar year. The California Chamber of Com­merce ­applauded the new measure, stating that it gives employers cer­­tainty on how to comply with the law.

According to state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, who sponsored S.B. 272, “These clarifications will make it easier for workers to take this kind of leave and will make it easier for employers to comply with the law. The last thing somebody should be worried about is taking time off of work to donate life-saving organs or bone marrow.”

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