Criminal Law

Workplace Leave Laws for Crime Victims

An Arizona employee that works for an employer who has fifty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year is entitled to job protected leave if the employee is a victim of a crime or victim of a juvenile offense.  A.R. S. § 13-40-4439 & § 8-4-420.

This leave is unpaid.  However, the employee may require the employee taking leave use paid time off for the time away from work.

For what reasons may an employee take crime victim and juvenile offense leave?

Crime victim leave

An employee who is a victim of a crime may take leave to: 

1. be present at all criminal proceedings in which the accused defendant has the right to be present. This includes any court proceedings that deal with the accused’s initial court appearance, releasing the accused after arrest, sentencing negotiations, sentencing, and probation revocation.  

2. obtain or attempt to obtain an order of protection, an injunction against harassment or any other injunctive relief to help ensure the health, safety or welfare of the victim or the victim's child.

Juvenile offense leave 

An employee who is a victim of a juvenile offense may take leave to:

1.  be present throughout all court hearings in which the accused delinquent has the right to be present. This includes any court proceedings that deal with the juvenile’s initial court appearance, releasing the juvenile after arrest, detention proceedings, and probation revocation.  

2. obtain or attempt to obtain an order of protection, an injunction against harassment or any other injunctive relief to help ensure the health, safety or welfare of the victim or the victim's child

Does this law give the employee time off for injuries?

No. Arizona Crime Victim Leave Law does not give the employee the right to take time off due to physical or mental injuries caused by the crime or juvenile offense.  However, the Family Medical leave Act (“FMLA”) gives eligible employees job-protected time off for most injuries.  

Employers must provide employees with family medical leave if the employer has fifty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.  Employees are eligible for family medical leave if they have worked for the employer for one year, worked 1250 hours in the last 123 months, work for a location that has 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius, and have not exhausted their twelve weeks of annual FMLA.  

What must the employee do?

The employee must tell his employer he is taking the time off before taking the time off allowed by the crime victim leave law or juvenile offense leave law. The law does not say how far in advance one must tell the employer of the time off.  However, an employee should tell the employer as soon as the employee knows of the need to take time off and remind the employer the day before the time off.  

The employee must also give the employer a copy of the notice of the proceeding the employee will attend.  Arizona courts will provide the victim a notice of any proceeding the victim has a right to attend.

Employer obligations

An employer must allow the employee the time off unless allowing the time off would create an undue hardship. If the time off creates an undue hardship for the employer, the employee may notify the prosecutor.  The court then may then reschedule the court proceeding to allow the employee to attend.  

The employer does not have to pay the employee for the time off under this law.  However, the employee may require the employee taking this leave to use paid time off for the time away from work.

An employer may not fire an employee who is a victim of a crime or juvenile offense because the employee exercises the right to leave work under this law.  The employer also cannot discriminate in any terms of employment against the employee who is a victim of a crime or juvenile offense because the employee exercises the right to leave work under this law.

What do I do if I feel my Victim Leave Rights are violated?

If you believe your employer is not providing you with your right to take time off under this law, you should review your employer’s leave policy to determine who you should speak to and arrange a meeting with that person.  Take the notice of court proceedings that you want to attend with you to this meeting.  You should also take a copy of the crime victim leave law or juvenile offense leave law with you to this meeting.

If, after speaking with your employer, the employer still does not give you the time off, you should contact the court hold the proceeding and ask them for help.  The best people to talk to at the court will be the prosecutor of court clerk.

If you are fired or discriminated against in any terms of employment because you exercised your right to leave work under this law, you should contact a private employment law attorney.

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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