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Can your California employer deny you leave after you’re the victim of a crime?

If you’re reading this, then there’s a strong likelihood that you’ve been the victim of some kind of crime, like domestic violence.

You likely understand that the best course of action to take once something as traumatic as this occurs is tackling it head-on. However, you may worry about how your employer will react to the idea that you need some time off to handle the situation.

Am I afforded any worker protections as a crime victim here in California?

Assembly Bill (AB) 2992 started being enforced in California on Jan. 1 of this year. Many describe it as an extension of the earlier bill, Labor Code (LC) 230.

LC 230 initially required California employers with 25 or more workers to allow any worker who’d reported suffering a sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking to take leave to attend court hearings on such matters.

The newly effective AB 2992 expands protections that LC 230 afforded workers. It protects workers who have suffered both mental and physical injuries from workplace discrimination. It does so by making it unlawful for California employers to terminate employees who leave to receive safety training or medical care after becoming victims of a violent act.

Asserting protection under AB 2992

Tapping into the protections afforded to you under AB 2992 works much the same way that disability accommodations do. You must notify your employer that you’re requesting such protections by providing them with a doctor or counselor’s note, police report or protective order.

Your employer should accommodate your request to take leave to attend medical appointments, safety training or court hearings. However, they may violate California law if they don’t. You may be eligible to sue them for discrimination or wrongful termination as a result.

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