California Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation on October 11 that will protect domestic violence victims from being discriminated against at work. The law will go into effect January 1, 2014. The legislation was sought after by Carie Charlesworth, a former El Cajon second-grade teacher who was fired after her abusive husband showed up on campus.
Charlesworth was fired in April 2013 from the Holy Trinity School after teaching with the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego for 14 years. Her husband showed up on the El Cajon campus on January 28, causing the school to go into lockdown for 30 minutes until he was arrested. Charlesworth had recently filed a temporary restraining order against her husband after suffering years of verbal and emotional abuse and warned her principal that she was scared of him.
The school put Charlesworth on leave after the accident and did not allow her children to return to school there. She was then fired in April. Charlesworth fought back after her termination by pursuing the legislation that is now signed into law to prevent employers from discriminating against victims of domestic violence.
The new legislation requires employers to take preventative measures to protect workers that are victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Examples of preventative steps include changing workplace telephone numbers, relocating employee desks and creating a safety plan.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson who carried the bill said in a statement that it “protects victims from job discrimination at a time they most need support and a steady paycheck.” She also added that many victims of domestic violence might stay quiet at work out of fear of being fired without the bill’s protection.
Discrimination, when it can be proven, is illegal in the workplace and can cause serious emotional, physical and financial trauma to those exposed to it. If you think you are being discriminated against at work, contact our Los Angeles labor law attorneys today at (310) 273-3180 for a free consultation. We understand the complex laws and regulations involved with discrimination and will take proactive steps to get the justice you deserve.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys