Domestic violence victims often face a slew of terrifying physical, legal and financial challenges. Fortunately, a new Washington state law is designed to give victims occupational and financial protections if they are dealing with the aftermath of such a situation.
What is in the law?
This new domestic violence protection law impacts people who are victims of multiple types of abuse, including physical assault, sexual offenses or stalking. It requires that individuals who need to take leave in order to file a police report, make new living arrangements or move into a shelter can do so, in addition to a few other circumstances. These individuals, which include part-time or seasonal employees, must be given time off work to do so.
The new law requires that employees be given the chance to take “reasonable” leave, but it doesn’t define reasonable. This means it may be a day or several days.
What sort of protections are contained in the law?
Employees who take reasonable leave in order to deal with a domestic violence situation cannot be fired as part of taking that leave and should expect that they will still have a job when they return to work. An employer may require proof, such as a police report, if an employee takes more than three days off in order to deal with a domestic violence situation. This law can be a true blessing for many domestic violence victims who find their lives in a massive state of upheaval as a result of their abuser.
If you have questions about how this law applies to your situation or you believe that your employer may be violating it, then you should seek appropriate legal counsel immediately. Doing so may help ensure that your rights are protected.