Domestic Violence Leave


As of August 8, 2014, employers with at least 50 employees must provide employees with up to 15 days per 12-month period of leave (can be paid or unpaid) to address issues of abusive behavior, including domestic violence, against the employee or his or her family member.

However, the employee must exhaust all vacation, personal, and sick leave available prior to taking leave under this law, unless the employer waives this requirement. The employer may require certain documentation. Employers must notify employees of their rights under the law.

Required Documentation:

An employer can request that an employee provide documentation evidencing that the employee or employee’s family member has been a victim of abusive behavior and that the leave is taken under the Law. An employee must provide such documentation to the employer within a reasonable period after the employer requests documentation relative to the employee’s absence.

However, an employer cannot require the employee to show evidence of an arrest, conviction or other law enforcement documentation for such abusive behavior. An employee can satisfy the request for required documentation by providing any one of the following documents to the employer:

(1) A protective order, order of equitable relief or other documentation issued by a court of competent jurisdiction as a result of abusive behavior against the employee or employee’s family member.

(2) A document under the letterhead of the court, provider or public agency which the employee attended for the purposes of acquiring assistance as it relates to the abusive behavior against the employee or the employee’s family member.

(3) A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to police, including a police incident report, documenting the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or the employee’s family member.

(4) Documentation that the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee has: admitted to sufficient facts to support a finding of guilt of abusive behavior; or has been convicted of, or has been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent by reason of, any offense constituting abusive behavior and which is related to the abusive behavior that necessitated the leave under this section.

(5) Medical documentation of treatment as a result of the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or employee’s family member.

(6) A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, provided by a counselor, social worker, health care worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate or other professional who has assisted the employee or the employee’s family member in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior.

(7) A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, from the employee attesting that the employee has been the victim of abusive behavior or is the family member of a victim of abusive behavior.

Confidentiality of Documents:

An employer is required to keep confidential all information related to the employee's leave under the Law. This information shall not be disclosed by the employer, except to the extent that disclosure is:

(i)             requested or consented to, in writing, by the employee;

(ii)           ordered to be released by a court;

(iii)         otherwise required by applicable federal or state law;

(iv)          required in the course of an investigation authorized by law enforcement; or

(v)           necessary to protect the safety of anyone employed at the workplace.

Any documentation provided to an employer under the Law may be maintained by the employer in the employee’s employment record but only for as long as required for the employer to make a determination as to whether the employee is eligible for leave.

Employment Protections:

 An employer cannot discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee for exercising the employee’s rights under the Law. Upon the employee’s return from such leave, the employee is entitled to restoration to the employee’s original job or to an equivalent position. If an unscheduled absence occurs, an employer cannot take any negative action against the employee if the employee, within 30 days from the unauthorized absence or within 30 days from the last unauthorized absence in the instance of consecutive days of unauthorized absences, provides any of the documentation required under the Law.