NY’s New Law Affecting Domestic Violence Victims Takes Effect in November

10.25.2019

NY passed a new law this year that applies to employees that are victims of domestic violence.  This law requires employers to provide victims reasonable time off from work to seek medical attention for himself or herself for the injuries caused by domestic violence, to receive services from a domestic violence shelter or program or a rape crisis center, to obtain psychological counseling, to participate in safety planning or other activities to increase the victim’s safety in the future, to receive legal services, assist in the prosecution of the perpetrator, or to appear in court in relation to a domestic violence incident. 

Employees must provide the employer with advance notice of such an absence if possible.  If advance notice is not possible, the employer may require documentation of the need for the leave, such as a police report, court order, or documentation from a counselor, advocate, or medical professional.  Employers must keep an employee’s domestic violence victim status as confidential as possible, as well as any information related to that status.

Employers can require employees to use any available paid time off, unless a collective bargaining agreement or other written policy provides otherwise. 

It’s important to make sure your managers are aware of this new law to ensure compliance.  Remember, domestic violence victim status is also a protected category in NYS.