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Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Leave and Accommodation Laws by State and Municipality

Author: Vincent K. Bates, Littler

Although domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking usually occur outside the workplace, they can impact a victim's job performance, productivity and attendance. As a result, an employer should be prepared for an employee's request for a leave of absence or a workplace accommodation if the employee or the employee's family or household member is a victim of these crimes.

Many states and several municipalities have enacted laws granting rights to such employees and employees whose family members have been victimized. The following chart summarizes domestic violence leave and accommodation requirements for employers in each state and in key municipalities, including:

  • Covered employers;
  • Employee eligibility;
  • Whether an employee must provide advance notice or documentation requesting time off;
  • Qualified reasons for and duration of leave;
  • Examples of accommodations; and
  • Employer notice-posting requirements.

States that have no requirements regarding domestic violence leave and accommodation protections are marked N/A.

Employers should note that this chart is limited to laws that are dedicated to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking protections for employees. These laws generally include time off for court appearances (e.g., obtaining an order of protection) and to ensure the future safety of the victim (e.g., relocating their residence). However, these victims may be entitled to leave or accommodations under other laws, such as paid sick laws that include "safe-time" provisions and leave laws applicable to crime victims in general. These other laws are noted in the chart and may be accessed from the Other Victim Protections column. Additional aspects of these laws can be found in the following 50-State Charts: