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Legal Information: California

Workplace Protections

Laws current as of January 11, 2024

How does this law protect me?

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, sexual assault, or stalking. For example, you may need to take time off it to get a restraining order.1 Your employer is not allowed to fire you, harass you, discriminate or punish you (retaliate), for taking this time off.2 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 other than getting a restraining order, such as:

  • seeking medical attention for injuries caused by a crime or abuse;
  • going to domestic violence shelters or programs, or going to a rape crisis center for services due to a crime or abuse;
  • getting psychological counseling related to crime or abuse; or
  • participating in safety planning or taking other actions to increase safety from a crime or abuse.3

Additionally, if you ask for reasonable accommodations, your employer must provide you with them to help ensure your safety while at work.4 Your employer is only required to provide you with reasonable accommodations if you let him/her know that you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.5 If you need a new accommodation at any point, you can make that request from your employer.6 If you no longer need an accommodation, you must let your employer know that.7

1 Cal.Labor Code § 230(c)
2 Cal.Labor Code § 230(c)
3 Cal.Labor Code § 230.1(a)
4 Cal.Labor Code § 230(f)(1)
5 Cal.Labor Code § 230(f)(3)
6 Cal.Labor Code § 230(f)(7)(E)
7 Cal.Labor Code § 230(f)(7)(F)