California employers already know there are quite a few state-mandated disclosures to give to new employees at the time of hire, and even more jobsite-posting requirements that follow. Effective July 1, 2017, California employers must also provide all employees with a written “Notice of Victim’s Rights.”
In 2016, the legislature passed Assembly Bill No. 2337, adding the new written notice of victim’s rights requirements. California employers of 25 employees or more are required to provide both new employees (at time of hire) and current employees (upon request) a written notice of the following:
- Right to Take Time Off. An employee has the right to take time off to help protect their own and/or their children’s safety and welfare. This includes the right to obtain medical attention, social services, or to secure legal protective orders and applies to employees regardless of whether they have accrued paid leave. There is generally no requirement that employees provide proof that time off was used for such purposes.
- Right to Reasonable Accommodations. An employee has the right to have their employer make reasonable changes in the workplace to ensure the employee is safe while at work. This includes changes in the employee’s schedule, transfer/reassignment, and the implementation of additional security procedures.
- Right to Be Free from Retaliation and Discrimination. An employee has a right to fair and equal treatment by their employer in the event they become a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Also, an employee may not be treated differently by their employer if they ask for time off, or if they seek reasonable accommodations under this section.
- Right to File a Complaint. Lastly, an employee has the right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office if they encounter any retaliation or discrimination pursuant to this section.
Notification of Victim’s Rights Sample Form
The California Department of Industrial Relations provides a sample form that employers may use to stay compliant with the new notice requirements.
Employers should ensure that all new hires are provided with a copy of the notice, or a notice that is substantially similar, as part of their new-hire paperwork.
These notices, and any correlative information regarding victim’s rights, should be available to current employees upon request. Additionally, employers should revisit policies and training material in regards to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Employers are encouraged to stay up to date and informed on this topic not only to stay compliant with the law, but also to promote a safe and secure workplace for their employees.