Fresno, California – Datatech has learned that the California Labor Commissioner has published an employee notice that employers are required to provide newly-hired employees and to existing employees upon request. The notice outlines ‘Rights of Victims’ for sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.
Required by California Assembly Bill 2337, which passed by the Legislature in 2016, among other things lets employees know their right to unpaid, job-protected leave for any employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The Farm Employers Labor Service notes, “An employer of 25 or more employees is prohibited by Labor Section 230.1 from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who uses time off from work because he or she is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.”
The law directed the Labor Commissioner to create a form for employers to use to make the required to employees; it is available in English and Spanish at these links.
Here’s what the form has to say:
Your Right to Take Time Off:
You have the right to take time off from work to get help to protect you and your children’s health, safety or welfare. You can take time off to get a restraining order or other court order.
If your company has 25 or more workers, you can take time off from work to get medical attention or services from a domestic violence shelter, program or rape crisis center, psychological counseling, or receive safety planning related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
You may use available vacation, personal leave, accrued paid sick leave or compensatory time off for your leave unless you are covered by a union agreement that says something different. Even if you don’t have paid leave, you still have the right to time off.
In general, you don’t have to give your employer proof to use leave for these reasons.
If you can, you should tell your employer before you take time off. Even if you cannot tell your employer before, your employer cannot discipline you if you give proof explaining the reason for your absence within a reasonable time. Proof can be a police report, court order or doctor’s or counselor’s note or similar document.
Your Right to Reasonable Accommodation:
You have the right to ask your employer for help or changes in your workplace to make sure you are safe at work. Your employer must work with you to see what changes can be made. Changes in the workplace may include putting in locks, changing your shift or phone number, transferring or reassigning you, or help with keeping a record of what happened to you. Your employer can ask you for a signed statement certifying that your request is for a proper purpose, and may also request proof showing your need for an accommodation. Your employer cannot tell your coworkers or anyone else about your request.
Your Right to Be Free from Retaliation and Discrimination:
Your employer cannot treat you differently or fire you because:
You are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
You asked for leave time to get help.
You asked your employer for help or changes in the workplace to make sure you are safe at work.
You can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office against your employer if he/she retaliates or discriminates against you.
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