December 7, 2002

Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault – Victim Leave (Unpaid)

All employees are eligible. As different provisions may apply to faculty, they should refer to the Faculty Handbook.

California state law requires that employees who are the victims of domestic violence or sexual assault be given time off to provide for their own or their child’s health, safety or welfare. This includes but is not limited to time off for medical treatment, psychological counseling or other domestic or sexual assault victim services, safety planning including relocation, or legal proceedings.

It is unlawful to retaliate or discriminate in any way against an employee for exercising his or her rights under these laws. State law also requires, to the extent allowed by law, that confidentiality be maintained regarding such leave.

If possible, an employee should provide reasonable notice of time off requested under this policy by submitting a written request to his or her dean or manager, preferably at least one week prior to the time requested. When an unscheduled absence related to domestic violence or sexual assault occurs, the dean or manager may not take any action against the employee if the employee, within a reasonable time after the absence, provides certification of the reason for the absence. Sufficient certification can be any of the following:

  • a police report indicating 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 or advocate for victims of sexual assault, health care provider or counselor that the employee was undergoing treatment for physical or mental injuries or abuse resulting from victimization from an act of domestic violence or sexual assault

Although this leave is unpaid, a staff employee may, in accordance with the provisions of university policy, use vacation accruals and compensatory time off (for non-exempt staff only), or use accrued sick time for injuries or medical treatment.

This policy does not create a right for an employee to take unpaid leave exceeding the unpaid leave provided by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (1993).

Responsible Offices

Human Resources Administration
(213) 821-8100

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

(213) 740-6715

Issued by

Dennis F. Dougherty, Senior Vice President, Administration
Lloyd Armstrong, Jr., Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
University of Southern California