BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

                                                                  SB 288
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          Date of Hearing:   June 12, 2013

                               Roger HernŠndez, Chair
                      SB 288 (Lieu) - As Amended:  April 1, 2013

           SENATE VOTE  :   34-0
          SUBJECT  :   Employment protections: time off.

           SUMMARY  :   Authorizes victims of specified crimes to take  
          protected leave from their employment to appear in court.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Provides that an employer may not discharge or discriminate or  
            retaliate against an employee for taking time off from work to  
            appear in court to be heard at any proceeding where the  
            employee is a victim of the following offenses:

             a)   Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

             b)   Felony child abuse likely to produce great bodily harm  
               or death.

             c)   Assault resulting in the death of a child under eight  
               years of age.

             d)   Felony domestic violence.

             e)   Felony physical abuse of an elder or dependent adult.

             f)   Felony stalking.

             g)   Solicitation for murder.

             h)   A serious felony.

             i)   Hit and run causing death or injury.

             j)   Felony driving under the influence causing injury.

          2)Defines, for purposes of this requirement, a proceeding to  
            include any delinquency proceeding, any proceeding involving a  
            post-arrest release decision, plea, sentencing,  
            post-conviction release decision, or any proceeding where a  


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            right of the victim is at issue.

          3)Defines a victim as any person who suffers direct or  
            threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a  
            result or attempted commission of crime or delinquent act.   
            The term "victim" also includes the person's spouse, parent,  
            child, sibling or guardian.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)States that an employer may not discharge, discriminate or  
            retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic  
            violence or sexual assault for taking time off from work to  
            attend to specified activities.

          2)States that an employee who is discharged, threatened with  
            discharge, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated  
            against for taking time off for the above purposes is entitled  
            to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work  
            benefits and may file a complaint with the Division of Labor  
            Standards Enforcement.  Additionally, an employer that  
            willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an  
            employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring  
            or promotion is guilty of a misdemeanor.

          3)States that an employee shall give the employer reasonable  
            advance notice of the employee's intention to take time off,  
            unless the advance notice is not feasible.

          4)States that when an unscheduled absence occurs, the employer  
            shall not take any action against the employee if  
            certification is provided within a reasonable time, including  
            a police report, court order protecting the employee from the  
            perpetrator, or documentation from a medical professional,  
            victim advocate, health care provider or counselor stating the  
            employee was undergoing treatment from an act of domestic  
            violence or sexual assault.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.


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           COMMENTS  :  According to Center for Disease Control and  
          Prevention's (CDC) 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual  
          Violence Survey, nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the  
          United States have experienced severe physical violence by an  
          intimate partner - among victims of intimate partner violence,  
          more than 1 in 3 women experienced multiple forms of rape,  
          stalking, or physical violence.  One in 6 women and 1 in 19 men  
          in the United States have experienced stalking victimization in  
          which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone  
          close to them would be harmed or killed. 

          In California, through the passage of Proposition 9 in 2008  
          (also known as Marsy's Law), a crime victim has the right to be  
          heard, upon request, at any proceeding.  However, despite having  
          that right, utilizing that right would not be  
          employment-protected.  Therefore, while a crime victim has  
          delineated rights in the Constitution, he or she could be  
          terminated for utilizing them.

          This bill would address this by providing an employee with  
          protected leave to participate in a hearing if they are the  
          victim of serious crime, including domestic violence, stalking,  
          murder, kidnapping, or rape.

          Supporters note that the California Constitution provides that  
          crime victims have the right to be heard, upon request, in all  
          of the proceedings covered by this bill.  Supporters also note  
          that there is no employment protection for a victim who desires  
          to appear in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding to be heard  
          on pleas, sentencing, release issues or other matters that may  
          affect the rights of the victim.  Supporters argue that this  
          inhibits the ability of crime victims to avail themselves of  
          their constitutional rights.  Supporters believe that this bill  
          will address this by allowing workers protected leave if they  
          are the victim of serious felonies, such as homicide, rape, and  
          crimes involving the infliction of great bodily injury.


          Crime Victim Action Alliance (co-sponsor)
          Crime Victims Untied of California
          Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office (co-sponsor)


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          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Ben Ebbink / L. & E. / (916) 319-2091