Gov. Brown signs bill providing greater protections to victims of crime

October 11, 2013

Bill improves employment security

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Brown today signed into law greater protections for victims who choose to exercise their constitutional right to attend their perpetrator’s court proceedings without fear of discrimination or retribution from their employer.

“While victims have a California constitutional right to attend all court proceedings, they are not currently protected from employment discrimination if they choose to exercise their constitutional right,” said Sen. Ted W. Lieu, author of Senate Bill 288. “That all changes now that Gov. Brown has endorsed greater employment protections for victims of crime.”

Lieu said most employers provide their employees who are victims of crime with support and time off to attend court proceedings. Unfortunately, not all employers provide their employees with the opportunity to exercise their rights afforded to them as a crime victim under Marcy’s Law.  

In fact, several victims of horrendous crimes have been terminated, or threatened with termination or demotion by their employers for exercising their constitutional rights. 

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, state law will provide that employers may not discharge, discriminate against or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of specified offenses for taking time off from work to appear in court to be heard at any proceeding in which a right of the victim is at issue. 

The protections under SB 288 will apply to those individuals who have suffered direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of a commission or attempted commission of a crime or delinquent act.  A victim also includes a person’s spouse, parent, child, sibling or guardian.  This is the same definition of victim contained in California’s constitution.

The list of crimes affected under SB 288 includes murder and solicitation of murder; kidnapping; carjacking; rape, stalking, and domestic violence; sex offenses; DUI vehicular manslaughter and other vehicular deaths; and child abuse the caused significant harm or death.

SB 288 was sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and cosponsored by the Crime Victims Action Alliance. 

For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 288, visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and represents the more than 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glenn, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map HERE: For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.
 
CONTACT: Ray Sotero
Communications Director
Sen. Ted W. Lieu, Senate District 28
Capitol Building, Room 4061
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4028 office
www.sen.ca.gov/Lieu