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Notice of Rights of Victims of Domestic Violence Now Required for New Hires in California

On July 12, 2017 by Schnader in Labor and Employment

By Scott J. Wenner

Last September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2337, which, effective July 1, 2017, requires California employers with 25 or more employees to provide written notice of workplace rights for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Those rights, which include the rights to leaves of absence, accommodation and freedom from discrimination and retaliation, are found in Labor Code Sections 230 and 230.1. The new notice requirement is codified in Section 230.1 of the California Labor Code.

The California Labor Commissioner has posted a form that California employers may use to satisfy these notice requirements at the following link: Victims of Domestic Violence Leave Notice.

If an employer elects not to use the Labor Commissioner’s form, a written notice must be provided by the employer that is substantially similar in content and clarity.

The written notice may be provided electronically, so long as new hires are able to freely access and print it without cost or restraint. A provision in an employee handbook that includes the required information also would satisfy the notice requirements of Labor Code Section 230.1, but only if the handbook is given to all employees upon “hire,” which means the date when an offer of employment is accepted, and not on the employee’s first day of work.

Posting of the notice is not required, nor will posting satisfy the notice requirement in Section 230.1.  Compliance instead requires the employer to provide the notice to the employee directly, either by providing a physical copy of the notice or an employee handbook that contains an equivalent notice, or by providing it electronically in a direct fashion – e.g., by email attaching a copy of the notice or containing a link thereto.