Domestic Violence Victims’ Rights

California Labor Code sections 230 and 230.1 provide certain rights to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, including the right to take time off from work relating to such issues and the right to reasonable accommodations upon request. Additionally, employers are prohibited from terminating, discriminating or retaliating against any employee who exercises such rights or who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Section 230.1 was amended last year to require employers with 25 or more employees to provide written notice to employees regarding their rights under sections 230 and 230.1, based on a form to be developed by the State Labor Commissioner. On July 1, 2017, the Labor Commissioner posted on its website the sample Notice that employers are now required to provide to their employees. Pursuant to the Notice, employers are required to provide the Notice to new workers when hired and to other workers who ask for it. A copy of the required Notice can be found at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Victims_of_Domestic_Violence_Leave_Notice.pdf.

Covered employers should now provide this Notice to all new hires and to any employees who ask for a copy, or employers may use a notice that is substantially similar in content and clarity.

Ban the Box Ordinance in Los Angeles

On July 1, 2017, the City of Los Angeles began active enforcement of its Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance (FCIHO), which was enacted on January 22, 2017. FCIHO prohibits employers during the application process from asking any applicant seeking employment in the City of Los Angeles whether they have a criminal history. FCIHO also prohibits employers from seeking any information regarding the applicant’s criminal history unless and until a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant. Additionally, even post-offer, the employer cannot take any adverse action against the applicant based on his or her criminal history, unless the employer performs a written assessment that effectively links the specific aspects of the applicant’s criminal history with risks inherent in the duties of the employment position sought by the applicant, and provides the applicant with certain information and rights prior to taking the adverse action.

FCIHO applies to private employers who have either: (i) ten or more non-exempt employees who perform at least two hours of work on average each week within the City limits; or (ii) ten or more employees and who also have any contract or subcontract with the City of Los Angeles. Employers who violate FCIHO are subject to fines up to $500 for the first violation, $1,000 for the second violation and up to $2,000 for each subsequent violation. FCIHO also contains other requirements, including certain notice, posting, record retention and anti-retaliation provisions, as well as certain limited exceptions. We suggest that all employers subject to FCIHO contact counsel to ensure they are in compliance with the new City of Los Angeles ordinance.