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Beginning July 1, California will require Employers to Provide Notice to Employees about Rights to Domestic Violence Leave

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Beginning July 1, California will require Employers to Provide Notice to Employees about Rights to Domestic Violence Leave

Beginning July 1, California will require Employers to Provide Notice to Employees about Rights to Domestic Violence Leave

On September 14, 2016, Governor Brown signed AB 2337, a bill that requires employers of twenty-five (25) employees or more to provide notice to employees of their rights to take protected time off for domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Existing California law already prohibited an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee for taking time off for specified purposes related to addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Existing law also provides that any employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has taken time off for those purposes is entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer, as well as appropriate equitable relief, and is allowed to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Employees can use this protected leave for matters that arise from being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including but not limited to:

• Seeking medical attention for injuries;

• Obtaining services from domestic violence shelters, programs, or rape crisis centers;

• Obtaining psychological counseling;

• Participating in safety planning and taking related actions such as seeking a temporary or permanent relocation.

Employees are also entitled to use any available vacation or sick leave for such purposes.

This new law signed by Governor Brown requires California employers to “inform each employee of his or her rights” when a new employee is hired and to other employees upon request. The Labor Commissioner will develop a form for employers to use for these purposes, which will be published on the Commissioner’s website on July 1, 2017.  Notice requirements for employers also take effect on July 1, 2017.

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