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Massachusetts Alert: New Law Provides Leave for Certain Victims of Domestic Violence

Massachusetts: Employer Compliance Alert from CBG BenefitsUnder a new Massachusetts state law effective as of August 8, 2014, an employer with 50 or more employees must permit an employee to take up to 15 days of leave from work in any 12 month period if:

  • The employee (or a family member of the employee) is a victim of abusive behavior
  • The employee is not the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against such employee’s family member
  • The employee is using the leave from work to:
    • Seek or obtain medical attention, counseling, victim services or legal assistance
    • Secure housing
    • Obtain a protective order from a court
    • Appear in court or before a grand jury
    • Meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official
    • Attend child custody proceedings or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member

The employer has discretion to determine whether any such leave is paid or unpaid. All information related to the employee’s leave generally must be kept confidential. An employee seeking such leave must exhaust all available annual or vacation leave, personal leave, and sick leave prior to requesting or taking leave under the law (unless the employer waives this requirement).

Notice Requirements

  • An employee seeking leave from work under the law must provide appropriate advance notice of the leave as required by the employer’s leave policy (special rules apply in cases of imminent danger to the health or safety of an employee).
  • Covered employers must notify each employee of the rights and responsibilities provided by the law, including those related to notification requirements and confidentiality.

Additional Information

We hope that you find the summary of this law helpful as you seek to assess your company’s compliance requirements.

If you have additional questions, please contact the CBG Benefits’ team at 781-759-1222.


Photo Credit: David Paul Ohmer via Compfight cc

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Posted in: Benefits and Insurance, Human Resources, Legislation

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