Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Employment Protection for Domestic Violence Victims

New York State has recently introduced two bills related to employment protection for victims of domestic violence. The Senate Bill to the entitlement to unpaid leave of absence for victims of domestic violence." This bill would grant victims 90 days on unpaid leave to address the issue. (Click here to access) The victim's job and current position would be protected. The definition of a "victim of domestic violence" in this bill is taken from the Family Court Act. The bill also uses the definition of a "victim of a sex offense" from the Penal Law.

The second bill, the Assembly Bill, "prohibits employers from discriminating against victims of domestic violence." (Click here to access) It further states that it "shall be unlawful discriminatory practice" for employers to terminate, discriminate or refuse to hire an individual based on their status as a victim of domestic violence. This bill uses the Social Services Law definition of a "victim of domestic violence." The Assembly Bill advanced to Third Reading on March 1st, where the bill will either be passed or defeated.

These bills have procedures comparable to the Family Medical Leave Act's, except they apply specifically to victims of domestic violence. Passage of one of these bills would be a step in the proper direction for employment and labor law.

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