Funeral and Bereavement Leave

Applies to: Faculty (including part-time and visiting faculty), postdoctoral scholars, staff and students (including graduate/undergraduate student workers and graduate assistants) employed by University of Southern California and its subsidiaries including Keck Medicine of USC (“USC employees”). 


Issued: November 16, 2015
Last Revised: February 2, 2023
Last Reviewed: February 2, 2023       

2. Policy Purpose

USC employees who experience a loss of a Family Member will be provided time off to grieve and attend the Family Member’s funeral.  USC employees who would like to attend the funeral of a fellow USC colleague will also be provided time-off, subject to approval by the employee’s supervisor, Dean of Faculty, or Department Chair.

USC expects all employees, supervisors, Deans of Faculty, Department Chairs, and HR Partners to act in good faith when requesting and approving leaves of absence and time-off under this policy. In the event USC becomes aware that actions taken do not align with the policy, corrective and disciplinary steps may be pursued.

3. Scope and Application

All faculty and staff, exempt and non-exempt, at all USC locations who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to the commencement of this leave are eligible.

In the event of a discrepancy between this policy and a collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern.

4. Definitions

Family MemberIncludes lawful spouse, domestic partner, significant other, child, parent, sibling, stepbrother or stepsister, stepchild, stepfather or stepmother, grandparent, grandchild, niece or nephew, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, mother-in-law or father-in-law, sister-in-law, or brother-in-law, first-cousin, aunt, or uncle.

5. Policy Details

Length of Leave and Pay Continuance

An employee may take up to five (5) paid days of bereavement leave under this policy for the death of a Family Member. While the days of bereavement leave need not be consecutive, the leave must be completed within three (3) months of the date of death of the Family Member.

Employees are also allowed up to four (4) hours of time-off to attend the funeral of a fellow USC colleague, provided such absence from duty will not unduly interfere with normal work operations and is approved by the employee’s supervisor, Dean of Faculty, or Department Chair.

If additional time is needed, employees may use vacation, accrued and available sick leave, or compensatory time off that is otherwise available to the employee and/or take time-off without pay (e.g., personal leave) subject to approval by the employee’s supervisor, Dean of Faculty, or Department Chair.

Bereavement leave will not be treated as a break in continuous service for purposes of seniority and years of service.

Non-Retaliation or Discrimination Notice

USC will not take any adverse employment action against any eligible employee for requesting or taking leave as permitted under this policy. If an employee believes that any adverse employment action has been or is being taken against the employee for exercising leave rights under this leave policy, the employee should contact the Office of Professionalism & Ethics by phone at (213) 740-2500 or 800-348-7454 or by email at

6. Procedures

Funeral and Bereavement Leave Procedures

7. Forms


8. Responsibilities

Below is the list of the units or individuals who are responsible for aspects of the policy and their major responsibilities.

HR Service CenterA. Support the employee, supervisors and Deans or Department Chairs with questions and application of the policy
Human Resources Partner (“HRP”) or Leave Administration Specialist (“LAS”)A. Ensures employee has the appropriate forms, if applicable, and information for understanding their personal leave
B. Collects the required forms, if applicable, and places the employee on the appropriate leaves
C. Manages the use of Sick Time Accruals and/or Vacation Time Accruals and/or or PTO Time Accruals and/or Winter Recess Accruals
D. Manages the return-to-work process
Leave Administration DepartmentA. Revises the policy based on changes in State and Federal legislation
B. Manages escalations received from HRP and LAS.

9. Related Information

Employee Records Policy

Faculty Handbook

Personal Leave – Staff Policy

Vacation Time – Staff Policy

10. Contacts

Please direct any questions regarding this policy to:

HR Service Center(213)
Leave Administration Specialist (“LAS”)(213)
Leave Administration(213)