On October 9, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill requiring employers of 25 or more employees to provide up to ten weeks of unpaid leave to eligible spouses of certain military personnel. An eligible employee is one who works an average of 20 or more hours per week and whose spouse is a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves deployed during a period of military conflict. Further, the California Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 extends this benefit to registered domestic partners.
To qualify for the leave, an eligible employee must notify the employer within two business days of receiving official notice that his or her spouse (or registered domestic partner) will be on leave from deployment and provide written documentation certifying that leave from deployment. Designated "emergency legislation," the new law took effect immediately.