Are you a victim of domestic violence or currently breaking off from an abusive
relationship from someone you were previously dating? Is your employer giving you grievance
for taking time off to go to Court to obtain a restraining order or to seek injunctive relief against
the perpetrator? Are you currently in counseling or therapy due to abuse or domestic violence
trauma and worried about being terminated by your employer for taking time off work to attend
your sessions? If so, you need to know that you are protected by California law from getting
fired in retaliation from your employer for taking leave to ensure the safety and well being of
yourself or your children. You are also protected by law from retaliation for obtaining services
from domestic violence shelters, rape crisis intervention centers, or therapy during work hours.

 

Can I get Fired for Taking Time off due to Domestic Violence

Can I get Fired for Taking Time off due to Domestic Violence

Under Labor Code section 230(c ), individuals who are in situations where they are being
stalked, assaulted, or abused are entitled to time off from work to obtain retraining orders or to
seek injunctive reliefs to ensure their safety and the safety of their children. Therefore, if an
employer is aware of such circumstances, it is illegal to terminate or retaliate against employees
who take leave to attend Court hearings related to abuse, harassment, or any form of domestic
violence under Labor Code section 230.2(c). However, you must provide certification or notice
to your employer in advance of any Court hearings, a copy of a Court order, or a police report
certifying your status as a domestic violence or abuse victim (Labor Code section 230.1(d)(2),
230.1(b)(2)). If you are worried about whether anyone else will find out about your
circumstances, your employer is required by law to keep your circumstances confidential (Labor
Code section 230.2(a)).

In addition, under Labor Code section 230(f), employers are responsible for making
accommodations to protect their employees experiencing such trauma, such as allowing them to
change their work numbers or putting locks on the employee’s work locker. Therefore, if you are
in a situation where you have a direct line at work and are being harassed or stalked, your
employer has the responsibility to change your workstation phone number and to make
reasonable accommodations to prevent the harassment and stalking from occurring.
Also, if you or your children are currently in therapy or seeking counseling after
experiencing any sort of domestic violence or trauma and/or attending training from rape crisis
centers, you are protected under Labor Code section 230.1 from being terminated by your
employer. Lastly, If you are trying to search for new housing for you and/or your children to
prevent the abuse or harassment from occurring, you are also protected by law while you are
taking time off to do so. However, you must provide documentation, such as a physician or
counselor’s note to your employer verifying your treatment (Labor Code section 230(d)(2),
230.1(b)(2).
If you feel as though you were unfairly treated or have been retaliated against by your
employer while you were undergoing such circumstances, please contact an experienced
employment law firm such as Stevens & McMillan.