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What is domestic violence leave in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Domestic Violence

In Massachusetts, domestic violence victims and their families have certain protections under state law, including as it relates to their employment. A state law passed in 2014, M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 3, 6, and 9, allows anyone who has experienced domestic violence or has family members who have experienced such abuse to get paid time off from work to seek help, including medical and legal varieties.

What allowances from employers does Massachusetts law provide for domestic violence victims?

When a worker is victimized by domestic violence in Massachusetts, he or she qualifies to receive either paid or unpaid leave from work. During this time, the victim may seek medical attention for any injuries; psychological counseling; secure housing; and legal support, such as restraining orders, among other remedies.

Is domestic violence leave optional for employers?

For businesses with 50 or more employees, domestic violence leave is not an option for Massachusetts employers to grant or deny. Instead, an employer must grant 15 days to the victim to pursue the help and care he or she requires under penalty of law. If an employer does not grant such leave as required by law, the state has the authority to intervene on the victim’s behalf through a variety of means.

It should be noted that only domestic violence victims, not the accused perpetrators, are entitled to the protections under the Massachusetts domestic violence leave law.

Employees, except in emergency conditions, must notify their employers of their plans to take time off work as provided by the law. Failure to do so may limit the employee’s protections.

The Massachusetts domestic violence leave law provides victims of domestic abuse the opportunity to seek necessary health care, administrative support and legal justice as necessary after being abused.