What Family Members Qualify for Bereavement Leave?

The death of the family member has intense outcomes. The loss of a loved one not only causes grief but there is a need to fulfill plenty of requirements. Thus an employee requires proper time to accomplish these services. During such conditions, the company should offer bereavement leave to the employee.

It is designed to give time off to the employee whose loved one has died. It provides time away from work and offers an employee a set amount of paid leave. The staff can utilize this time for mourning.

Bereavement leave also permits the employee to arrange or attend specific traditional services related to the family member’s death like funerals, memorial and burial services, etc.

This article will briefly discuss the bereavement leave law, the list of family members who qualify for this leave, the length of this leave, and the procedure for leave. By reading all these points, you will completely understand this. 

Laws for Bereavement Leave

According to FLSA (The U.S Fair Labor Standard Act), there is no such federal law regarding this on the death of loved ones, thus an employer can set guidelines.

However, some states mandate it, for example, Oregon is considered the first state that makes it compulsory for the companies to provide extended bereavement leave to employees in 2014.

In research conducted by SHRM (Society for Human resources management), it was observed that the number of companies that provide paid bereavement leave by 3% points amid 2014-2018. They offer bereavement leaves for two weeks.

List of family members who qualify for it

Companies offer bereavement leave on the death of specific family members. Here is the list of those family members who are eligible for this:

  • Father
  • Mother
  • Sister
  • Brother
  • Spouse
  • Domestic Partner
  • Civil Union Partner
  • Grandparent
  • An individual in a biological, adopted foster, legal ward, step, or an in loco parentis relationship.
  • In-law (grandfather-, grandmother-, mother-, father-, brother-, sister-, son-, and daughter-in-law), including a relative of a same-sex civil union partner or same-sex partner (grandfather, grandmother, mother, father, brother, sister, son, and daughter)
  • Member of the employee’s household

Length of Bereavement Leave

The period of this leave depends on the relationship of the employee to the deceased one. Here is the description of the length of bereavement leave regarding the worker’s relation to that family member.

Bereavement Leaves for an immediate family member

On the death of an immediate family member, i.e., spouse, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law, most of the companies provide paid bereavement leave of maximum five days to the worker who has worked for at least 90 days in that organization. 

The company has the right to ask for verification like an obituary or funeral event before giving time off to an employee. At the request of the worker, the company can give unpaid leave for an additional four days. However, the length of leave may vary from company to company and state to state.

Friend or other relative Leave

The organization offers paid bereavement leave of one day to the full-time employee on the death of his friend or other relatives. Verification is required in this condition too.

Procedure for Bereavement Leave

Company Supervisors have the full right to ask the worker to certify the loss, like a death certificate or a published notice of death, before authorizing the bereavement pay.