Unpaid Time Off for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking

Taking time off

Employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may take time off to provide for their own, or their children’s, health, safety or welfare. This includes time off for medical treatment; psychological counseling or other services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; safety planning, including relocation; or legal proceedings. For purposes of this policy, the crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are defined in California Labor Code Section 230.1.

Under this policy, employees may take time off without pay, use accrued vacation/PTO, or use paid sick time, unless the employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that says something different. Leave for injuries resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may run concurrently with other types of leaves, such as Family and Medical Leave.

Employees who require time off under this policy should provide reasonable advance notice of the absence unless advance notice is not feasible. When advance notice is not feasible, employees may provide documentation certifying the absence was related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, within a reasonable time. When such certification is provided, no disciplinary action for the absence will be taken. Certification may include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • A police report or a USC Department of Public Safety report indicating that the employee or the employee’s child was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
  • A court order protecting or separating the employee from the perpetrator of an act of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or other evidence from the court or prosecuting agency, that the employee or the employee’s child appeared in court
  • Documentation from a licensed medical professional, domestic violence advocate, licensed health care provider, the Department of Child and Family Services, or other counselor, that the employee or employee’s child was undergoing treatment for physical or mental injuries or abuse resulting from an act of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

Reasonable accommodation

The university takes the safety of all employees very seriously. Any employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and is concerned for their safety at the workplace may request reasonable accommodations. When a request for reasonable accommodations is received, the university will engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine what accommodations can be made for the employee’s safety. An accommodation may include putting in locks, changing the employee’s shift or phone number, transferring or reassigning the employee, or help with keeping a record of what happened to the employee. The university may require that the employee provide a signed statement certifying that the reasonable accommodation is for a proper purpose. The university may also request recertification every six months after the date of the first certification for continued accommodations if applicable.

The university will maintain as confidential any verbal or written statement, police or court record, or other documentation identifying an employee or an employee’s child as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, except as required by federal or state law for disclosure or as necessary to protect the employee’s safety in the workplace. The employee will be given notice before any authorized disclosure.

Retaliation and discrimination

It is unlawful to retaliate or discriminate in any way against any employee who exercises rights under this policy and such discrimination or retaliation is strictly prohibited. Employees who believe they have been subject to retaliation or discrimination may file a complaint following the appropriate university complaint procedure. For more information, please contact the responsible office listed below.

Responsible office

Human Resources Administration

(213) 821-8100

Issued by

Michael Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
David W. Wright, Interim Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California