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California Expands Protections for Employees Who Are Victims of A Crime or Abuse

On September 28, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2992, which imposes further limitations on employers from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of crime or abuse. Before the passage of this legislation, under Labor Code section 230, employers were prohibited from discharging an employee for taking time off to serve on a jury or appear in court pursuant to a subpoena or court order. Labor Code section 230.1 required employers of 25 or more employees to allow an employee who was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking to take time off to seek medical attention or related services.

AB 2992 expands the protections under Labor Code 230 and 230.1 to a victim of a crime, or public offenses as outlined in Section 13951 of the Government Code, which caused a physical or mental injury, or a threat of physical injury, regardless of whether any person is arrested for, prosecuted for, or convicted of, committing the crime.

The bill also revises the categories of time off work under these circumstances, to include taking time off to work to seek medical attention for injuries caused by crime or abuse, to obtain services from prescribed entities as a result of crime or abuse, to obtain psychological counseling or mental health services related to an experience of crime or abuse, or to participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future crimes or abuse.

Under the amended legislation, an employee shall give advance notice unless it is not feasible. If an unscheduled absence is taken, the employee within a reasonable time must provide one of the following as certification for the absence:

  1. A police report,
  2. A court order protecting or separating the employee from the perpetrator
  3. Documentation from a licensed medical professional or similar,
  4. Any other form of documentation that reasonably verifies the crime or abuse occurred.
Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 273



About this Author

Leonora Schloss, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Labor Law Attorney

Leonora “Lenny” M. Schloss is a Principal in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Ms. Schloss specializes in wage and hour and leaves of absence issues, advises and trains employers on preventative measures, drafts policies and agreements, conducts wage and hour classification audits and training, and handles employment investigations.

Ms. Schloss has substantial experience litigating single plaintiff and class action discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage/hour cases in...

Shiva Anari Labor & Employment Attorney Orange County, California, Jackson Lewis P.C. Law Firm

Shiva Anari is an Associate in the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

Ms. Anari regularly advises clients on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, including Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Employment and Housing Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, National Labor Relations Act, and Americans with Disabilities. She also counsels clients on other aspects of employment laws such as leaves of absence, state and local wage and hour compliance, sick leave laws and related requirements, as well as new legal developments impacting labor and employment policies and best practices.

Ms. Anari also assists employers of all sizes in numerous industries with new hire documents, onboarding process, the development and maintenance of personnel policies and procedures, discrimination and harassment, and other workplace requirements and related litigation.

Prior to practicing at Jackson Lewis, Ms. Anari was a litigation attorney at a mid-size law firm where she defended complex commercial matters involving breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence and fraud. She also routinely advised employers on matters relating to hiring, termination and benefits, as well as review of employee handbooks.