California’s current law prohibits an employer from discharging or discriminating against an employee who is: 1) taking time off to serve on a jury, 2) a victim of a crime for taking leave to appear in court as a witness, or 3) a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault for taking leave to address any issues related to the crime.
SB 288 prohibits an employer from discharging, discriminating against, or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of a crime for taking time off of work to appear in court or be heard at any judicial proceeding. In the event of such improper employer behavior, the employee may now be entitled to reinstatement and lost wages and benefits.
The law lists several crimes that are covered including, but not limited to, assault resulting in the death of a child under eight years of age, felony domestic violence, felony physical abuse of an elder or dependent adult, vehicular manslaughter, felony child abuse, and sexual assault. The term “victim” includes the person’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, or guardian. The employer cannot take any action against the employee if the employee, within a reasonable time of the absence, provides a certification to the employer. A certification may include a police report, a court order, or documentation by a medical professional.