For many years now, Labor Code § 230 has required companies to provide to an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking with time off from work to obtain a restraining order, to appear in court, or to seek medical attention or counselling services. In addition, Labor Code § 230.1 has required companies with 25 or more employees must provide employees with a reasonable accommodation, when requested, for his or her safety at work. Such accommodations may include, but are not limited to, a transfer, reassignment, modified work schedule, or change in work telephone number. Any employee who is terminated, threatened with termination, demoted, or suspended because of his or her status as a victim, or a request to take time off, may seek reinstatement, payment for lost wages and work benefits.
A new law amends Labor Code § 230.1 to now require that employers with 25 or more employees provide each employee with written notice of these rights at the time of hire or upon request. The Labor Commissioner has issued a sample notice which contains all the required language, which can be easily included in a new hire package.
What Employers Should Do Now
- Ensure that management and supervisors are fully aware of the protections afforded victims of domestic violence.
- Be prepared to implement the new written notice to employees at time of hire and to other employees on request as soon as the Labor Commissioner posts a form to its website.
- Consider developing complaint notice language to be included in the company’s form offer letter or in an employee handbook update.
If you have questions about the workplace protections afforded victims of domestic violence, the new written notice requirement, or any other questions related to employment law, please contact a member of the California Employment Team.