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Legal Statutes: California

UPDATED April 11, 2017

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Article 1. General Occupations

back to top230. Jury duty; legal actions by domestic violence and sexual assault victims; right to time off; reinstatement and reimbursement; misdemeanor; right to file complaint with Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

(a) An employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trial jury, if the employee, prior to taking the time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer that he or she is required to serve.

(b) An employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee, including, but not limited to, an employee who is a victim of a crime, for taking time off to appear in court to comply with a subpoena or other court order as a witness in any judicial proceeding.

(c) An employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or a victim of sexual assault for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to, a temporary restraining order, restraining order, or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim or his or her child.

(d)(1) As a condition of taking time off for a purpose set forth in subdivision (c), the employee shall give the employer reasonable advance notice of the employee's intention to take time off, unless the advance notice is not feasible.

(2) When an unscheduled absence occurs, the employer shall not take any action against the employee if the employee, within a reasonable time after the absence, provides a certification to the employer. Certification shall be sufficient in the form of any of the following:

(A) A police report indicating that the employee was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

(B) A court order protecting or separating the employee from the perpetrator of an act of domestic violence or sexual assault, or other evidence from the court or prosecuting attorney that the employee has appeared in court.

(C) Documentation from a medical professional, domestic violence advocate or advocate for victims of sexual assault, health care provider, or counselor that the employee was undergoing treatment for physical or mental injuries or abuse resulting in victimization from an act of domestic violence or sexual assault.

(3) To the extent allowed by law, the employer shall maintain the confidentiality of any employee requesting leave under subdivision (c).

(e) Any employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has taken time off for a purpose set forth in subdivision (a), (b), or (c) shall be entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer. Any employer who willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure or hearing authorized by law is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(f)(1) Any employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has exercised his or her rights as set forth in subdivision (a), (b), or (c) may file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of the Department of Industrial Relations pursuant to Section 98.7.

(2) Notwithstanding any time limitation in Section 98.7, an employee filing a complaint with the division based upon a violation of subdivision (c) shall have one year from the date of occurrence of the violation to file his or her complaint.

(g) An employee may use vacation, personal leave, or compensatory time off that is otherwise available to the employee under the applicable terms of employment, unless otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement, for time taken off for a purpose specified in subdivision (a), (b), or (c). The entitlement of any employee under this section shall not be diminished by any collective bargaining agreement term or condition.

(h) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Domestic violence” means any of the types of abuse set forth in Section 6211 of the Family Code, as amended.

(2) “Sexual assault” means any of the crimes set forth in Section 261, 261.5, 262, 265, 266, 266a, 266b, 266c, 266g, 266j, 267, 269, 273.4, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.5, 289, or 311.4 of the Penal Code, as amended.
(Added by Stats.1968, c. 1270, p. 2395, § 1. Amended by Stats.1978, c. 161, p. 392, § 1; Stats.1999, c. 340 (S.B.56), § 1; Stats.2000, c. 487 (A.B.2357), § 2; Stats.2002, c. 275 (A.B.2195), § 1.)