California employers with at least 25 employees must permit an employee whose spouse is serving in the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves to take up to ten days of unpaid leave when the spouse is home on leave. AB 392, which adds section 395.10 to the California Military Veterans Code, took effect immediately upon the signature of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to provide relief to families of troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Under the new law, a "qualified employee" is an employee who performs an average of 20 or more hours per week and is the spouse of a member of the armed forces who has been deployed to an area of military conflict. Under existing California law, registered domestic partners would be included within the definition of "spouse." The "qualified leave period" is the time period during the spouse's leave from deployment during "military conflict," defined as a period of war declared by Congress or a deployment authorized under specified sections of the federal Armed Forces Code. The employee must provide notice of the intent to take leave within two business days of receiving official notice that the military spouse will be on leave from deployment.
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