Overview of Crime Victims Leave Law
When a crime occurs, we often underestimate the toll it takes on the victim’s daily life. On top of any endured trauma and psychological/emotional healing, victims also have to attend proceedings in order to seek justice within the criminal justice system. In order to do this, a person has to take time off work and it is imperative that they are not discriminated against due to this reason. Employment law recognizes Crime Victims Leave as the avenue through which employees can take time off and know that employers are not allowed to discriminate.
Defining the Terms in Crime Victims Leave
Most importantly, we must define the victim. Under this law, a victim is the one who suffers as a result of the crime as well as their spouse and children, siblings, and parents. Therefore, close family members can also take leave and remain protected. The crimes included in this law are numerous and include offenses such as violent felonies, sexual assault, and murder. The employee should provide notice to their employer prior to the leave; this applies in situations when the victim is aware, in advance, of upcoming judicial proceedings. However, if an emergency situation requires immediate time off, that is allowed, but the employer can require the victim to provide documentation as proof of a crime.
What Actions Can Your Employer Not Take? Is the Leave Paid or Unpaid?
As mentioned previously, an employer cannot discriminate against their employee if they take time off under this law. The employer cannot retaliate against the employee through any means, including demoting or firing them.
In almost all cases, the crime victims leave is unpaid, unless a previous agreement says otherwise. Nonetheless, employees can make use of their vacation or personal days in order to receive payment during the time off.