2024 Public Policy & Advocacy Award

The Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee (CalSPAC) successfully led a co-sponsored policy project resulting in the passage of Senate Bill 848, Reproductive Loss Leave.  The bill allows employees to take up to five (5) days of job-protected time off from work for reproductive related losses.  “Reproductive loss” is defined as a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction.  A spouse or domestic partner are also covered under this bill.  If an employee experiences more than one reproductive loss vent, the maximum number of leave time allowable is 30 days within a 12 month period.    

The bill idea originated in October 2022 from a long-running CalSPAC contest called There Ought to Be a law, which encouraged Junior League members around the state to submit ideas for policy improvement.  This idea was submitted by a sustainer and former president of the Junior League of Orange County California.    

CalSPAC identified three delineated roles and primary point persons for carrying out the sponsorship project: Policy Lead, legislative Lead, and Impact Area Lead. This effort was conducted with 100% volunteer work and minimal expense.  The success of CalSPAC’s work exemplifies the possibilities and power of an all-women-led advocacy group and coalition of multiple Junior Leagues that can significantly bring positive impact to women and communities across the state.   

The bill was formally signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 10, 2023, and went into effect on January 1, 2024. Congratulations, CALSPAC!