What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Leave Laws By State

Domestic violence is any type of violent or aggressive behavior inflicted on another person within a home or within a relationship. Domestic violence can take the form of physical abuse, stalking, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, psychological abuse, threats, or cyberstalking; and is also referred to as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence. Each state has different domestic violence laws for determining domestic violence leave policies.

In many states, employers must grant time off to employees who have suffered violence from a domestic violence incident. Requirements vary by state, but in many cases, a state may grant leave for the following:

  • Seeking medical attention,
  • Obtaining a restraining order or meeting legal officials,
  • Attending court proceedings, or
  • Creating a safety plan.

Related: Domestic Violence During COVID-19

Domestic Violence Leave Laws by State

State Existence of Laws Supporting Domestic Violence Leave? Domestic Violence Leave Requirements 
Alabama No N/A
Alaska No N/A
Arizona Yes Employers with 50+ employees may allow unpaid time off to attend court proceedings or obtain a protective order. 
Arkansas No N/A
California Yes Employers must provide leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or to care for family members who are victims of domestic violence. Employers with 1-24 employees must provide time off for employees to obtain a restraining order. Employers with 25+ must provide time off to ensure their health and safety, obtain medical/psychological services, or relocate. 
Colorado Yes Employers must allow employees up to 3 days of leave in a 12 month period if an employee is a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or any other crime related to domestic violence. 
Connecticut Yes Employers with 3+ employees are required to provide up to 12 days off in 12 months if an employee or a family or household member of an employee is the victim of domestic violence or sexual violence. 
Delaware Yes Employers are expected to make reasonable accommodations for domestic violence victims. 
District of Columbia (D.C.) Yes Employers with 100+ employees must allow employees to accrue up to 7 days per calendar year of sick & safe leave, which are eligible for use in domestic violence cases. Employers with 25-99 employees must allow employees up to 5 days per calendar year. Employers with 1-24 employees must allow employees up to 3 days per calendar year. 
Florida Yes Employers with 50+ employees must allow employees to request and take up to 3 days of leave form work in any 12-month period if the employee or a family or household member of an employee is the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. 
Georgia No N/A
Hawaii Yes Employers with 1-49 employees must allow employees who are victims of domestic violence up to 5 days of leave per calendar year. Employers with 50+ employees must allow domestic violence victims up to 30 days per calendar year. 
Idaho No  N/A
Illinois Yes Employers must provide leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence, or to care for family members who are victims of domestic violence. Employers with 50+ employees must provide up to 12 weeks of leave within any 12-months. Employers with 15-49 employees must provide up to 8 weeks of leave within any 12-month period.
Indiana No N/A
Iowa No N/A
Kansas Yes Employers are required to allow employees to take up to eight days of leave per calendar year to address issues related to domestic violence or sexual assault.
Kentucky No N/A
Louisiana No N/A
Maine Yes Employers must grant employees reasonable and necessary leave from work, with or without pay, to prepare for and attend court proceedings; receive medical treatment or attend to medical treatment for a victim who is the employee’s daughter, son, parent or spouse or obtain necessary services to remedy a crisis domestic violence caused, sexual assault or stalking.
Maryland Yes  Employers with 15+ employees must provide paid sick and safe leave for certain employees, including victims of domestic violence.
Massachusetts Yes Provides up to 15 days of leave in any 12-month period, for employers with 50 or more employees.
Michigan Yes Employees may use 40 hours of leave time in a benefit year if the eligible employee or the eligible employee’s family member is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. 
Minnesota Yes Employers of any size must allow employees to take reasonable time off work to obtain a protection order for the employee or the employee’s minor child.
Mississippi No N/A
Missouri Yes Employers must provide leave to an employee in the case of domestic or sexual violence. Employers with 50+ employees must provide up to two workweeks of unpaid leave within any 12-month period to address the related matters above. Employers with 20 to 49 employees must provide up to one workweek of unpaid leave within any 12-month period.
Montana No N/A
Nebraska No N/A
Nevada Yes Employers must provide leave to an employee (90+ days employed) who is a victim of an act of domestic violence 160 hours of leave (paid or unpaid) during a 12-month period following the date on which the domestic violence occurred.
New Hampshire Yes Employers with 25+ employees must provide an unpaid leave of absence to employees who are crime victims or are immediate family members of certain crime victims to attend legal or investigative proceedings associated with the prosecution of the crime.
New Jersey Yes Employers employing 25+ employees to provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible employees who are the victim of domestic violence or a sexually violent offense or whose child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner was a victim of such an act.
New Mexico Yes All employers must provide up to 14 days of leave to domestic violence victims in any calendar year, which employees may use in increments of up to 8 hours in one day.
New York Yes Employers must grant leave as a reasonable accommodation to employee victims of domestic violence.
North Carolina Yes Employers of any size, must allow employees to take reasonable time off work to obtain a protection order for the employee or the employee’s minor child.
North Dakota No N/A
Ohio No N/A
Oklahoma No N/A
Oregon Yes Employers with 6+ employees must allow employees who are victims of domestic violence to take reasonable time off from work to obtain court or law enforcement protection or to take other safety measures.
Pennsylvania No Except in Philadelphia City.
Rhode Island Yes Employers with 50+ employees shall allow employees who are victims of a crime to leave work for court proceedings. Those employees should not lose their job nor seniority.
South Carolina  No N/A
South Dakota No N/A
Tennessee No N/A
Texas No N/A
Utah Yes An employee who is a victim of an act of violence is permitted to use up to three days of leave from work in a 12-month period, with or without pay for legal assistance, medical care, or obtain counseling.
Vermont Yes Crime victims are a protected class, but employees must be employed for 6+ months at 20 hours per week.
Virginia No N/A
Washington Yes Domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking victims can take leave from work and request safety accommodations from the employer. 
West Virginia No N/A
Wisconsin No N/A
Wyoming No N/A

Related: Why Do Domestic Violence Victims Stay?

All information above is accurate as of August 22nd, 2022. State statutes regarding domestic violence leave laws are subject to change and exemptions depending on the case. Individuals should visit the state website where they live for further information on individual state domestic violence leave laws. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney to get any questions answered or for representation in a lawsuit regarding domestic violence leave laws.

Sources:

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/249377/Domestic%20Violence%20Chart%202017-3.pdf?t=1508935878705

https://www.paycor.com/resource-center/articles/domestic-violence-leave-laws-by-state/

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Domestic Violence Leave by State, get your free consultation with one of our Domestic Violence in  today!