Reminder: new domestic violence leave notice is now required

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As we reported previously in Coffee Break, employers have a new notification obligation regarding the rights of employees who are domestic violence victims, and now the contents of the required notice has been made available.

Background of Employer Obligations under Section 230.1

Labor Code Section 230.1 prohibits employers with 25 or more employees from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work for any of the following purposes:

  1. To seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  2. To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  3. To obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or
  4. To participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including temporary or permanent relocation.

The employee is required to give the employer reasonable advance notice of the employee’s intention to take time off, unless the advance notice is not feasible.

New Notice Requirement

The new notification requirement went into effect upon the Labor Commissioner’s release of its notification form, which was scheduled for no later than July 1, 2017. The form is now available on the Department of Industrial Relations’ website and can be accessed here. This notice must be provided to all new hires or to existing employees upon request. As such, Employers should ensure that the notice is properly disseminated to new hires and should include reference to employee rights under Section 230.1 in the Employee Handbook. Employers may also choose to post the notice with its other postings.