Leaves taken to give Witness Testimony

Employers "may not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee" for "taking time off to appear in court to comply with a subpoena or other court order as a witness in any judicial proceeding." Cal. Labor Code § 312(b). Generally in California, the rights and remedies of employees taking or requesting a leave in order to provide witness testimony at a judicial proceeding are the same as for employees taking leaves from work to serve on a jury.

While the California Labor Code is technically silent on the issue, the right to give Witness Testimony at a judicial proceeding extends to federal cases as well as state cases. Thus, employees are entitled to attend any judicial proceeding in order to provide witness testimony, and employers are not allowed to retaliate against the attendance in any manner.

Witness testimony may arise via subpoena. If you have received a subpoena requesting your testimony at a judicial proceeding, then a trial may be dependent on the knowledge you possess in order to be carried out successfully and effectively.

Witness testimony is essential to the successful conduction of a trial. Without witness testimony, there would be no one to corroborate the stories of the plaintiff, defendant, or prosecutor, and consequentially judges and juries would thus be compelled to weigh only physical evidence presented in the abstract in order to determine the guilt or liability of their peer. Witness testimony enables the discovery of further truths that may decide the eventual outcome of the case.

Therefore, it is critical that any employee who can provide testimony as a witness for a judicial proceeding, do so. If an employer forbids participation in a judicial proceeding, however, then he or she has likely committed a misdemeanor. As well, the employee denied his or her leave for witness testimony has the right to sue for discrimination under the California Labor Code.

If the employee's suit is successful, the employee may have several remedies. Statutory remedies for a violation of the California Labor Code §230 first include reinstatement, which entitles the employee to his or her job in the event the employer discharged the employee for having taken the leave to provide witness testimony at the proceeding. Secondly, the employee can sue for reimbursement of lost wages for the period of time during which he or she was not allowed to work by the employer. Finally, the employee can also sue for work benefits that were lost due to the employer's discrimination against him or her, such as perhaps health insurance that was denied while the employee was discharged.

Contact Us

If you have not been granted a leave in order to testify as a witness, or if you have experienced negative treatment or termination from having taken a leave at your workplace in order to give witness testimony, contact the seasoned lawyers at Kokozian Law Firm, APC concentrating in leaves for witness testimony. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.