Legal Information: California

Workplace Protections

Updated: 
January 2, 2017

Do I have the right to take time off from my job to protect myself or my children from domestic violence or sexual assault?

Yes.  Under California state law, your employer must allow you to use your vacation days, personal leave days, or compensatory time so that you can take actions to protect the health or safety of you or your children from domestic violence or sexual assault (by getting a restraining order, for example).*  Your employer is not allowed to fire you, harass you, discriminate or retaliate against you (punish you), for taking time off to deal with domestic violence or sexual assault issues against you or your children.**  This law applies to companies of any size with any number of employees.

If your employer has 25 or more employees, there are additional things that you are allowed to take time off for (in addition to getting a restraining order), such as:

  • Seeking medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault;
  • Going to domestic violence shelters or programs, or going to a rape crisis center for services due to domestic violence or sexual assault;
  • Getting psychological counseling related to domestic violence or sexual assault; or
  • Participating in safety planning and taking other actions to increase safety from domestic violence or sexual assault.***

* Ann.Cal.Labor Code § 230(g)
** Ann.Cal.Labor Code § 230(c)
*** Ann.Cal.Labor Code § 230.1(a)