A new state law that went into effect on Jan. 1 this year aims to minimize potential discrimination against workers who become crime victims.
The newly-passed Assembly Bill (AB) 2992 protects a California employee’s right to take leave necessary to receive safety training and medical care without having to worry about their employer taking reprisals against them. This newly adopted law expands protections initially afforded to workers under Labor Code (LC) 230.
The evolution of protections afforded to crime victim employees in California
LC 230 already required all California employers with 25 or more employees to allow their staff to take time to receive health care following domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault incidents. This earlier code also made it unlawful for employers to fire workers who served on a jury or needed to make a court appearance in response to a subpoena.
Extended worker protections available under AB 2992
Lawmakers expanded protections afforded under LC 230 to cover both individuals subjected to threats and those who suffered physical or mental injuries. This legislation also prohibits employers from laying conditioning a worker’s right to take leave to receive medical care or undergo safety training on whether someone ends up under arrest, prosecuted or convicted for such crimes.
How to claim protections under AB 2992
State lawmakers expect employees to notify their employers that they what to take leave per AB2992. Workers should produce a police report, protective order or documentation from a licensed doctor or counselor to give their employer retroactively if they could not provide them with advanced notice of their leave.
How to proceed if your employer denied you protections under AB 2992
There’s often a learning curve that employers go through when new laws go into effect, but that’s no excuse for not giving you the protection you have a right to receive, however. You may want to consult with an attorney to learn more about what your rights are and steps you can take in your case to exercise them.