State Law Requires Employers to Permit Time Off
When you’ve been the victim of domestic abuse or violence, it affects every aspect of your life— home, social gatherings and even work. It may be the physical consequences—the need for ongoing medical treatment. But it can also involve deep emotional and psychological trauma, requiring counseling or therapy. When those wounds are still fresh, it can be extremely difficult to perform the functions of your job.
In addition, if you are in a household where others have been subjected to domestic violence, you may have psychological wounds of your own, or may need to be a support mechanism for your loved one.
Recognizing the impact domestic violence can have on your psyche and your ability to effectively handle the duties of your job, the New Jersey legislature passed a law permitting employees who have been involved with instances of domestic violence to take a leave of absence without fear of retribution, including retaliation or termination. The law sets forth fairly specific criteria, however, both with respect to who qualifies and how much time may be taken.
Eligibility for Time Off
To qualify for time off, you must work for a company that has at least 25 employees. In addition, you must have worked at least 1,000 hours for that employer during the previous 12 calendar months.
Before you can take time off, you must provide written notice to your employer. It’s important to note that you do not have to be the victim of domestic violence to qualify for time off, but you will need to provide your employer with appropriate documentation to support your request. That may include:
- A restraining or protective order issued by a court
- Certification from a certified domestic violence specialist, a domestic violence agency or the director of a rape crisis center
- Documentation showing that your accuser was convicted of domestic violence
- Medical records
- Communications from a prosecutor
- Other documentation from a professional, such as a shelter worker, social worker or member of the clergy
The Amount of Time You May Take Off
Under New Jersey’s law, a person can take up to 20 days during the 12 month period following a request for time off.
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges, including people who have sustained workplace injuries. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.