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Crime Victims Leave
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What Is Crime Victims Leave?

There are a number of federal laws in place that give California employees the right to take time off work for certain qualifying family or medical reasons, but the state of California has several of its own labor and employment regulations in place that far exceed those established at the federal level. For instance, California has what is called a “crime victims leave” law that requires employers to provide victims of certain serious crimes with unpaid, job-protected victims leave to attend any proceedings related to the crime or any proceeding in which the victim’s rights are at issue. If you believe you are entitled to crime victims leave in California, and your employer has refused to grant the leave, or if your employer unlawfully discriminated or retaliated against you for requesting or taking a protected leave of absence, contact our California employment law attorney at Davtyan PLC today for legal help.

Crime Victims Leave Law in CA

There are two types of crime victims leave in California. The original state leave law provides victims of serious or violent felonies with job-protected time off work to attend judicial proceedings related to the crime, and a more recent law established in 2014 provides crime victims with time off work for any proceeding involving the victim’s rights. The law also prohibits California employers from discriminating against, harassing, retaliating against, or otherwise taking adverse employment action against an employee who requests or takes crime victims leave. This type of leave is considered “job-protected,” which means the employee must also be guaranteed his or her job or a comparable position upon returning from the leave of absence. 

California Crime Leave Requirements

Under California Labor Code, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of a crime for taking time off work to appear in court for judicial proceedings related to the crime. Leave under this law is initiated by a notice from the court, prosecutor or victim advocate office, and the employee is permitted to take the leave only after providing notice of the scheduled proceedings. This crime leave protection covers not only an employee who is a victim of a crime, but also a crime victim’s immediate family member, registered domestic partner or a child of a registered domestic partner who is a crime victim. According to state law, crime victims leave can be of any length, but any time off under this leave must be used to attend judicial proceedings related to a:

  • Serious felony
  • Violent felony
  • Felony theft
  • Felony embezzlement

California law provides protections for crime victims to take time off work, at the victim’s request, to appear in court for any proceeding in which the victim’s rights are at issue. This leave can be initiated at the victim’s request and does not require a notice from a government agency. Crime victims leave can be any length and the employee requesting the leave must be a victim of one of the following “covered” serious or violent criminal offenses:

  • Felony stalking
  • Felony domestic violence
  • Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
  • Felony child abuse likely to produce great bodily harm or death
  • Assault resulting in the death of a child under eight years of age
  • Solicitation for murder
  • Felony physical abuse of an elder or dependent adult
  • Hit-and-run causing death or injury
  • Specific sexual assault
  • Felony DUI causing injury
  • A serious felony, such as rape, assault or kidnapping

Contact Davtyan PLC for Legal Help

Being the victim of a serious or violent felony is life-changing and there are laws in place in California that give employees the right to take a leave of absence to appear at any proceedings related to the crime or those involving the victim’s rights. Any California employee denied his or her right to crime victims leave, or any employee unlawfully discriminated or retaliated against for requesting or taking crime victims leave, may have grounds to file a leave law violation claim for reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits. Furthermore, in any case where a California employer refuses to reinstate an employee wrongfully terminated under this law, it is considered a misdemeanor offense. For more information about California crime victims leave, or to find out how to go about suing your employer for a leave law violation, consult our experienced California employment law attorney at Davtyan PLC today.