People Operations | Management

Domestic violence leave

Employers, regardless of size, must provide unpaid time off for employees to appear in court to obtain a temporary restraining order or other injunctive relief to ensure the safety of the employee or his or her child due to domestic violence. Employers must also provide victims of sexual assault with time off to appear in court.


Employers with 25 or more employees are to provide unpaid time off for victims of domestic violence, as defined by   Family Code Section 6211 ,   who need to do the following:

Seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault.

Obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault.

Obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence or sexual assault.

Participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence or sexual assault, including temporary or permanent relocation.


The employee must give the employer reasonable advance notice of his or her intention to take time off, unless advance notice is not feasible. When an unscheduled absence occurs, the employer must not take any action against the employee if he or she, within a reasonable time after the absence, provide a certification to the employer. Certification will be sufficient in the form of any of the following:

A police report indicating that the employee was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

A court order protecting or separating the employee from the perpetrator of an act of domestic violence or sexual assault, or other evidence from the court or prosecuting attorney that the employee appeared in court.

Documentation from a medical professional, domestic violence advocate, advocate for victims of sexual assault, health care provider or counselor stating that the employee was undergoing treatment for physical or mental injuries or abuse resulting in victimization from an act of domestic violence or sexual assault.

Employees may use vacation, personal leave or compensatory time off that is otherwise available to them.