Earlier today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2337, a bill that requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide notice to employees of their right to take protected time off, without threat of termination or retaliation, for domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This notice must be provided to each employee “at the time of hire” and thereafter upon request by the employee.
[Note: Existing California law already requires employers to allow time off to any employee who is the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault and who needs time off: (1) to seek a temporary restraining order or other injunctive relief to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the employee and/or his/her child; (2) to seek medical attention; (3) to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter or rape crisis center; (4) to obtain psychological counseling; and/or (5) to participate in safety planning or relocation. This new law, AB 2337, adds the additional requirement that employers provide employees with notice of these rights.]
The California Labor Commissioner will develop a template by July 1, 2017 that employers can use for this purpose. The only good news for employers is that employers will not be required to comply with AB 2337 until such time as the Labor Commissioner develops this new notice template and posts it on their website.
Many California employers are already complying with AB 2337 by virtue of having an employee handbook which is provided at the time of hiring and that explains an employee’s right to take leave under these circumstances. If you don’t have an employee handbook, however, or if you don’t provide it at the time of hiring to all new employees, I recommend that covered employers download the Labor Commissioner’s new template once available and incorporate its language into all new hire offer letters.
You can read the full text of AB 2337 here.