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California Labor Code SB 1044 Los Angeles

Retaliation is Prohibited in the Event of an Emergency Condition

los angeles employment lawyer

The "Retaliation Prohibited in the Event of an Emergency Condition" bill aims to protect employees during emergency situations. This bill prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against employees who refuse to report to work or leave the workplace during an emergency condition if they have a reasonable belief that it is unsafe. An "emergency condition" is defined as either a disaster or extreme peril caused by natural forces or a criminal act, or an evacuation order due to a disaster or a criminal act.


However, the definition of an emergency condition does not include a health pandemic.

The bill also prevents employers from preventing employees from accessing their mobile devices or communication devices to seek emergency assistance, assess the safety of the situation, or communicate with others to confirm their safety. Employees are required to notify their employer about the emergency condition that requires them to leave or refuse to report to work.


It's important to note that these protections do not apply once the emergency conditions that pose an imminent and ongoing risk of harm have ceased.


For example, if there is a severe storm warning and an employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe, they cannot be punished for refusing to report to work or leaving the workplace.

Similarly, if an employee needs to evacuate their home or their child's school due to a natural disaster, their employer cannot prevent them from using their mobile device to seek emergency assistance or communicate with loved ones. However, once the storm has passed and the danger has subsided, the employee may be expected to return to work.


California Labor Code SB 1044

California Labor Code SB 1044 Frequent Questions


Q: What is the "Retaliation Prohibited in the Event of an Emergency Condition" bill about? A: This bill is designed to protect employees during emergency situations by prohibiting employers from taking adverse actions against employees who refuse to report to work or leave the workplace during an emergency condition if they have a reasonable belief that it is unsafe.


Q: What is considered an "emergency condition" under this bill?

A: An "emergency condition" is defined as either a disaster or extreme peril caused by natural forces or a criminal act, or an evacuation order due to a disaster or a criminal act. The definition does not include a health pandemic.


Q: Can an employer prevent an employee from accessing their mobile device or communication device during an emergency condition?

A: No, the bill prohibits employers from preventing employees from accessing their mobile devices or communication devices for seeking emergency assistance, assessing the safety of the situation, or communicating with others to confirm their safety.


Q: Is an employee required to notify their employer about the emergency condition?

A: Yes, the bill requires employees to notify their employer about the emergency condition that requires them to leave or refuse to report to work.


Q: Do these protections apply even after the emergency conditions have ceased?

A: No, these protections do not apply once the emergency conditions that pose an imminent and ongoing risk of harm have ceased.


Q: Can an employee be punished for refusing to report to work or leaving the workplace during an emergency condition?

A: No, if the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe during an emergency condition, they cannot be punished for refusing to report to work or leaving the workplace.


How To Find a Vetted Los Angeles Employment Lawyer


If you believe that your employer has violated the California labor code SB1044 'Retaliation Prohibited in the Event of an Emergency Condition', it is crucial that you seek the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced California employment lawyer.


If you reside in Los Angeles, you should consider reaching out to a Los Angeles employment lawyer who can assess your situation and advise you on your rights and options. An employment lawyer can help you understand the provisions of SB1044 and determine if your employer's actions are in violation of the law. They can also represent you in legal proceedings and work to ensure that your rights are protected.

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