California Expands Crime Victim’s Rights

On September 28, California Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 2992, amending and expanding California’s Labor Code Sections 230 and 230.1, which provide employment protections for crime victims. The law goes into effect January 1, 2021. Prior to the amendment, Section 230 prohibited all employers, regardless of size, from discharging or discriminating against an employee who is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault if the employee needs time off work to seek judicial relief, including  a temporary restraining order, restraining order, or other injunctive relief. Section 230.1 required employers with 25 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12month period for an employee who needs to (1) seek medical attention for injuries due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (2) obtain victim services (3) obtain psychological counseling or (4) participate in safety planning. For both Section 230 and 230.1, the amendment expands victim’s rights, as follows: 

  • Beyond being a victim of stalking, domestic violence, and sexual assault, an employee can also time off of they are the victim of a crime or a public offense, including a misdemeanor or felony, that caused physical injury or that caused mental injury and included a threat of physical injury.  This applies regardless of whether any person is arrested for, prosecuted for, or convicted of, committing the crime. 
  • An employee may now take leave if needed for the reasons set forth under existing law when the employee’s immediate family member (child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, or equivalent relationship) is deceased due to a crime. 

Section 230 of the Labor Code was also amended to permit an employee to take an unscheduled absence if the employee provides any “form of documentation that reasonably verifies that the crime or abuse occurred, including but not limited to, a written statement signed by the employee, or an individual acting on the employee’s behalf, certifying that the absence is for a purpose authorized …” 

Leave of absence is never dull, with constant evolution of the compliance landscape. FINEOS watches the trends and stays up-to-date, so our clients can take care of their business. You can find out more at our absence management page. 

You may also be interested in