GIVE ME A BREAK! « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

GIVE ME A BREAK!

Time Off for Fire Fighting, Crime Victims,

Drug Rehab, School Visits, and More

Most California employers are aware that state and federal law allows eligible employees to take time off for family and medical leave, parental leave, pregnancy disability leave, paid sick leave, and jury duty.

California employers may not be as familiar with other mandatory leaves of absence, such as:

Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation Programs. Employers with 25 or more employees must reasonably accommodate any employee with alcohol, marijuana or drug dependencies who wants to participate in a rehabilitation program so long as the leave does not impose undue hardship on the employer.

Civil Air Patrol Leave of Absence.  Employers with 16 or more employees must provide up to 10 days of leave per year to their employee volunteer members of the California Civil Air Patrol division of the U.S. Air Force who have worked for the company at least 90 days. A leave for a single mission cannot exceed three days.

Emergency Rescue Personnel Leave. Employers with 50 or more employees must provide up to 14 days per calendar year to an employee who must attend emergency rescue training or fire rescue, etc.

Literacy Education. Employers with 25 or more employees must provide unpaid time off for literacy education programs.

Military Leave. All employers regardless of size must provide eligible employees with military leaves of absence, which are usually unpaid unless otherwise required by applicable law.

Military Spouse Leave. Employers with 25 or more employees must provide up to 10 unpaid days’ leave to any employee who works more than 20 hours per week when that employee’s spouse is on leave from active military deployment.

Paid Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave. Employers with 15 or more employees must provide paid leave for organ donation and bone marrow donation whether or not such employees have used up their available paid sick leave. See, Mandatory Paid Leave for Organ and Bone Marrow Donors (January, 2011).

Reserve Peace Officer. All employers regardless of size must provide a temporary leave to eligible employees in order for them to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer or emergency rescue personnel.

School Visits.  Employers with 25 or more employees at the same location must provide time off to employees who are parents, grandparents, step parents, foster parents, guardians or persons standing in the place of a parent, to take part in their child’s school-related activities, such as enrolling or reenrolling the child in a school.

School Visits Involving Suspensions. All employers must provide time off to their employees to appear at their child’s school conference to discuss possible suspension.

Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking.  All employers must allow an employee who has been a victim of such crimes to take time off without pay to appear in legal procedures, obtain temporary restraining orders, etc. Employers who have 25 or more employees must also provide additional leave to seek medical attention for injuries, participate in safety activities, etc. See also, Assisting Workers -Victims of Stalking, Sexual Abuse and Other Traumatic Incidents (July, 2017)

Victims of Serious Crimes. All employers must allow an employee victim of a serious crime as described in Labor Code section 230.2 to take time off to attend judicial proceedings related to that crime.

Victims of Specified Offenses. All employers must provide time off to an employee who has been a victim of certain specified offenses as described in Labor Code section 230.5, for example, victims of serious hit-and-run accidents, felony domestic violence, etc.

Voting. All employers shall provide up to two hours of leave to vote when the employee’s work schedule does not allow him or her sufficient time to vote outside of scheduled work hours.

Witness Duty. All employers must provide time off to any employee compelled by court order, subpoena or other lawful means to appear in court as a witness. This time off may be unpaid for not-exempt-from-overtime employees.

Written workplace policy should adequately describe the nature of any leave and when it can be taken (including the use of any paid vacation), along with the employee’s obligation to inform the employer of that leave’s expected length of time and the projected start and end date.

The above leaves of absence are covered in more detail in our template employee handbook. We have carefully worded our policies to comply with applicable laws.  Please visit our website for more information.

For further assistance, please contact one of our attorneys: Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

June 22, 2018

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