Assemblymember Weber Announces Policy to Address Employment Stability for Survivors of Violent Crime and Grieving Employees

Friday, February 21, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. (D-San Diego) and State Senator Bradford (D-Gardena) announced legislation aimed at supporting employment stability for survivors of violent crime and employees who have lost loved ones.

"AB 2992 will create a safe haven for survivors who need time to recover from traumatic crimes without the risk of losing their job," said Assemblymember Shirley Weber. "With this bill, California would expand protections for all victims of violent crime and help ensure victims keep their jobs so they can focus on recovery and safety.”

AB 2992 will extend unpaid employment leave protections to all survivors of violence, ensure survivors have up to 6-weeks following a violent crime to recover without risking job loss, and would ensure survivors and immediate family members who have to leave their jobs are eligible for unemployment. The bill will also include protections under California’s Family Rights Act for employees to bury and grieve the death of a loved one and would cover employees who need to care for a sick or injured child up to 25 years old suffering from a serious health condition.

“I am proud to introduce this measure with Assemblymember Weber. For victims, the period of time after a crime is horrendously stressful, fraught with financial and often legal burdens,” said State Senator Bradford. “This delicate time has the potential to uproot anyone’s entire way of life. AB 2992 will improve the way our state treats those who have been victimized by focusing on an important and overlooked component in our regular lives — stability.”

One of the state’s leading organizations representing victims of crime, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) is sponsoring the bill.

“The fact that survivors of crime and their families have only three days to grieve, process, plan and deal with the impact of unthinkable tragedy before being vulnerable to losing their jobs is unconscionable,” said Tinisch Hollins, California state director for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.

“In the aftermath of a crime, survivors often are faced with medical appointments, court dates, a need to find new housing and other significant challenges. Allowing survivors the relief of knowing their jobs are protected if they need to take time off to deal with these types of things plays a major role in allowing survivors and their families to begin to regain stability. Dr. Weber deserves high praise for championing this bill that will help ensure our communities are safer, healthier and more whole.”

A 2013 survey of crime survivors found that 1 in 4 California survivors missed work following the crime and 2 out of 3 reported experiencing anxiety, stress, and difficulty with sleeping, relationships, or work. Half of the victims of violence said it takes more than six months to recover following victimization.[1]

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[1] Californians for Safety and Justice (2013). California Crime Victims’ Voices: Findings from the First Ever Survey of California Crime Victims and Survivors.