This socialist-type law is one that strikes me as humane, decent, and not overly-injurious to business, and hence can support it:
Workers in California would be entitled to bereavement leave after the death of a close relative under legislation that cleared the Assembly this week.
The measure would allow employees to take up to four days off work upon the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild or domestic partner.
Proposed by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, Assembly Bill 325 cleared the lower house Thursday by a vote of 48-26, with no Republican support. It now goes to the Senate.
Employees could be required to document the death of their relative, perhaps by an obituary or funeral notice. They would not be entitled to pay during bereavement, unless they use vacation, leave, or other compensatory time off.
I'd have a totally different opinion if this law mandated paid time off, but since it doesn't, count me as a supporter. (Full disclosure: one of my employment benefits is paid time off for bereavement leave for certain family members, and I've taken paid time off after the death of a brother and the death of one of my grandmothers).
Of course, this being California, lawmakers went overboard and added some stupid-sounding provisions:
Opponents counter that businesses need flexibility to work such matters out with employees, free of political interference. They also ridicule provisions that allow leave to be taken for up to 13 months after the relative's death -- and on days that are not consecutive.I'm sure the reasoning for that could be having to deal with wills and probate and attorneys and the like, which are not dealt with immediately upon death, but I counter that that's not "bereavement". Bereavement is for when you're just too distraught to come to work, or need to be with family in the very trying times of a close death.
Still, when put on balance, I see this as more positive than negative and, as I said, not overly injurious to business. I'll still support it.