A new law in California makes it easier for more people to donate bone marrow or an organ. Starting this week, most employees can get paid leave to do it.
More than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ donation or need a bone marrow transplant.
The new California law requires a company that employs more than 15 people to give workers paid time off if they have to donate bone marrow or an organ.
Employees get five days paid leave for bone marrow donations and 30 days paid leave to donate an organ.
"There are not a lot of people in the registry for donations either for bone marrow or for organs," explains Susan Kemp, a labor law attorney with the California Chamber of Commerce. Every year the chamber publishes a list of new laws employers need to know about.
"In order to encourage – particularly the bone marrow because I understand it’s harder to find people for that – this law was proposed to at least give people some time off," says Kemp.
Susan Kemp says employers can require workers to use up vacation or sick days – up to five days for bone marrow donors and up to two weeks worth for organ donors. Kemp says employers who adopt that provision have to write up the policy and explain it to workers.