The Domestic Violence Leave Law provides job-protected leave for victims of domestic violence. This law went in to effect in 2014 and requires covered employers to provide up to 15 days of job-protected leave in a 12 month period to an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or who has a family member who is a victim of domestic violence. The law applies to employers with 50 or more employees. There is no required minimum hours worked or length of employment prior to becoming eligible for this type of leave.
The employee must use the leave to address issues relating to the abusive or domestic behavior, such as seeking medical treatment or counseling, obtaining victim services or legal assistance, securing housing, making a court appearance, obtaining a protective order, meeting with law enforcement officials, or attending child custody proceedings.
It is entirely up to the employer as to whether the leave is paid or not. The law is clear, however, that unless an employer waives this requirement, an employee must use all his or her paid leave, such as vacation or sick time, before using this new type of leave. When possible, the employee must provide the employer with advanced notice of the need for leave, and the employer can require the employee to provide documentation supporting the need for leave.
An employer has no choice but to provide the employee leave under this law and cannot discriminate or retaliate against an employee for taking leave under this law. When the employee returns to work, he or she must be reinstated to his or her job or an equivalent job.
If you have questions about the Domestic Violence Leave Law, please contact the Employment Law Department at Keches Law Group.