Last year, the California Legislature enacted the Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act (Act), codified at Labor Code sections 1508-1513. The Act provided employees with paid leave to donate an organ or bone marrow. Specifically, the Act requires private sector employers (with 15 or more employees) to grant up to 30 days of paid leave in a one-year period to an employee who is an organ donor, and up to 5 days of paid leave in a one-year period to an employee who is a bone morrow donor.
During the last year, various questions arose about the Act's interpretation, prompting the California Legislature to amend its provisions. Hence, SB 272.
SB 272 amends Labor Code section 1510 to clarify, among other things, that (1) the days of leave provided by the Act are business days, not calendar days; (2) the one-year period is measured from the date the employee's leave begins and consists of 12 consecutive months; (3) leave taken under the Act is not a break in the employee's service for purposes of the employee's right to paid time off; and (4) when an employee takes leave under the Act, the employer must maintain the employee's health benefits under a group health plan in the same manner the coverage would have been maintained if the employee had never left on leave.