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California law prohibits discrimination against employees who become crime victims

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2021 | Employment Discrimination |

Crime victims used to worry about whether their need to attend counseling or court hearings would adversely impact their ability to retain their job. Everything changed on Jan. 1 when Assembly Bill (AB) 2992 went into effect.

This California law expands worker protections initially afforded under Labor Code (LC) 230. It gives employees the right to take part in safety training and receive medical care without worrying about their employer discriminating against them or terminating them for doing so.

How did the transition from LC 230 to AB 2992 change crime victims’ rights?

LC 230 required California companies that employed 25 or more workers to give their employees who suffered a sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking incident time off to receive medical care. This older law also prohibited employers from firing workers who needed to make a court appearance after receiving a subpoena or serving on a jury.

State law now protects workers from employer discrimination against workers who needs to receive safety training or receive medical care, regardless of whether they’re the alleged perpetrator or victim.

How to seek legal protection, and what to do if your employer says no

Like any situation regarding a request for reasonable accommodations, you must first notify your employer that you’re seeking the protections AB 2992 affords you, such as leave. You may supplement your notice to your employer by providing them with a copy of a protective order, doctor or counselor’s note or police report. The law may also allow you to provide your employer with such documentation retroactively if you can’t before you take leave.

While your employer may think that they can use the excuse that there are so many laws, it’s hard to keep up with them as an excuse for not providing you with the time off you were entitled to; that’s not good enough. You may be able to file a discrimination case against your employer for their ignorance of the law in such an instance.