requires employers, with prior day notification, to allow time off for victims or witnesses to pursue legal action related to domestic violence.
In addition to compliance with the law, however, employers should allow employees to use accrued time off, including personal, sick, and vacation time, if necessary. Where shift work, flexible schedules, or compressed work weeks are feasible, employees should be given these options. Employers should also review and, if necessary, modify any existing Family Leave policies to ensure that leave for reasons due to domestic violence is clearly and specifically permitted.
When employer policies require employees to submit documentation to justify their requests for these benefits, employers should be aware that victims of domestic violence often lack such documentation, such as orders of protection, medical records, or police reports. Further, employers should not require an employee to obtain these specific kinds of documentation because making a police report or petitioning for an order of protection may not be viable, safe, or desirable options for any particular victim. Instead, employers should consult with the employee to identify what documentation she might have or be able to get that won't compromise her safety-related needs and that will satisfactorily meet the documentation requirement of the employer.
c.Employers should allow an employee who is a victim of domestic violence and leaves a spouse (or domestic partner, if covered), to make changes in benefits at any time during a calendar year and should expedite the process for the employee to make changes in payroll processing.
When victims of domestic violence separate from their abusive partners, with or without a legal separation, divorce, or temporary or permanent order of protection, they may need to obtain benefits in their own names, particularly if these were previously obtained through the abusive partner. Such changes may be needed to prevent the abuser from obtaining information about the location of the employee's new home, as well as information about the identity and address of health care providers. Similarly, pay checks are often