Exclusively Employment Law

California’s Crime Victims Leave Law

by | Sep 2, 2018 | Leave of Absence

Generally speaking, California Labor Code Section 230.2 provides that if an employee is a victim of crime, an employer must allow the employee to take time off to attend judicial proceedings related to the crime (the “Crime Victims Leave Law”). Below is additional information regarding employees’ rights under the Crime Victims Leave Law.

Who can take leave under the Crime Victims Leave Law?

The following individuals may take leave under the Crime Victims Leave Law: (a) an employee who is a victim of a crime (see definition of “victim” below); (b) the victim’s immediate family members and registered domestic partner; and (c) the child of the victim’s registered domestic partner. All part-time or full-time employees who fit under one of the above-referenced definitions qualify for Crime Victims’ Leave, regardless of how long he/she has been working for his/her employer.

Who is considered a “victim” under the Crime Victims Leave Law?

A “victim” is a person against whom a specified crime is committed, including, but not limited to: murder, voluntary manslaughter, attempted murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery, kidnapping, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony domestic violence, and felony stalking,

Does an employee need to provide notice to his/her employer?

Before an employee may take leave under the Crime Victims Leave Law, the employee must give his/her employer a copy of the notice of each scheduled proceeding provided by the agency that is responsible for providing notice, unless advance notice is not feasible.

When advance notice is not feasible or an unscheduled absence occurs, the employer may not take any adverse action (e.g., termination, suspension) against the employee if, within a reasonable time after the absence, the employee provides the employer with documentation regarding the judicial proceeding from any of the following entities: (a) the court or government agency that set the hearing; (b) the district attorney or prosecuting attorney’s office; or (c) the victim/witness office that is advocating on behalf of the victim.

Is Crime Victims Leave paid or unpaid?

Crime Victims Leave is unpaid. However, an employee may use his/her accrued vacation time, personal leave time, sick leave time, or compensatory time off while on Crime Victims Leave, unless his/her collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise. An employee’s rights under the Crime Victims Leave Law may not be diminished by any term or condition of a collective bargaining agreement.

Does an employer have any confidentiality obligations?

Yes, an employer must keep confidential any records regarding an employee’s taking of Crime Victims Leave.

Does an employee have any rights and remedies if his/her employer discharges, discriminates against, or retaliates against the employee for taking leave under the Crime Victims Leave Law?

An employer may not discharge, discriminate against, or retaliate against an employee for taking time off under the Crime Victims Leave Law. If an employee is discharged or otherwise discriminated against in violation of the Crime Victims Leave Law, he/she is entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and benefits.

Any employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against because he/she exercised his/her rights under the Crime Victims Leave Law may file a complaint with California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement within one year from the date of the violation.

If you have questions about California’s Crime Victims Leave Law, call ((916) 612-0326) or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, and Elk Grove.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.