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New Workplace Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking

By Thomas M Lee

Effective January 1, 2014, all California employers are required to provide unpaid time-off for employees who are victims of a serious or violent felony to attend judicial proceedings related to the crime. The term “crime victim” applies to an employee who is a victim, the immediate family member of a victim, the registered partner of a victim or the child of a registered domestic partner of a victim.

More importantly, it is illegal for an employer with 25 or more employees to fire, discriminate against or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or a victim of sexual assault for taking time off from work for: (1) medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault; (2) finding help from a domestic violence shelter, program or rape crisis center due to domestic violence or sexual assault; (3) psychological counseling for domestic violence or sexual assault; or (4) participating in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence or sexual assault, including temporary or permanent relocation.

The law requires that the employee must give their employer reasonable advance notice of the employee’s intention to take time off, unless the advance notice is not feasible. Moreover, the employer is not required to provide any of the required accommodations discussed above unless the employee first discloses their status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. For more information, please click here.

Please note that the information I am providing here in this entry, or in my website is NOT to be construed as legal advice nor is it meant to form an attorney-client relationship. For a free legal consultation by phone, please call or email me anytime.