*Content Warning: Discussion of Domestic Violence
What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Leave in Ohio
Domestic violence may be apparent in the workplace, jeopardizing victims’ and coworkers’ safety and causing the loss of productivity, higher healthcare expenses, absence in the workplace, and employee turnover. Here’s everything you need to know about domestic violence leave in Ohio.
Ohio does not require employers to provide a leave of absence for domestic violence. However, the Ohio Department of Health urges businesses and employers to develop policies and programs framing domestic violence as an observable and avoidable problem, similar to hundreds of other workplace health and safety concerns.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is any form of violent or aggressive behavior towards another person within a household or a relationship. Physical abuse, stalking, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, threats, or cyberstalking are all domestic violence.
What is domestic violence leave?
Employees who have suffered violence in a domestic violence case may receive domestic violence leave as time off.
You can receive domestic violence leave for the following reasons:
- An employee is seeking medical attention or psychological counseling due to domestic violence.
- An employee is in the process of obtaining a restraining order for a domestic violence case and must meet with legal officials.
- An employee must attend court proceedings for a domestic violence case.
- An employee must create a safety plan or relocate due to domestic violence.
- An employee is seeking to consult with an attorney regarding domestic violence.
Does Ohio grant domestic violence leave?
Ohio is among roughly 25 states not to directly pass a law or act to give domestic violence survivors the right to take time off work. However, the Ohio Department of Health mandates workplace policies and programs to recognize and accommodate employees dealing with domestic violence.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if an employee suffers or is recovering from a severe health condition. Domestic violence may qualify as a significant health problem since many victims of domestic abuse suffer from injuries, disabilities, or severe mental conditions. However, the FMLA is only available to companies with more than 50 employees.
Related: Ohio Domestic Violence Laws
Ohio Law Regarding Domestic Violence Leave
Ohio state law does not directly mention domestic violence leave. However, employers may allow domestic violence leave under the pretext of existing laws in certain instances. For example, employers can permit domestic violence leave if an employee must attend a court hearing, consult legal advice, or seek medical attention. Federal law ensures employees’ right to leave in these instances.
According to Ohio Code, an employer must allow an employee (whether they are the victim, victim’s family, or victim’s representative) to respond to a subpoena and participate in a criminal proceeding. Still, Ohio does not obligate an employer to pay wages for this leave.
FAQs about Domestic Violence Leave in Ohio
Does Ohio guarantee domestic violence leave?
Ohio does not guarantee domestic violence leave. However, employers can still individually decide to provide domestic violence leave. In some cases of domestic violence, employers can permit leave under the FMLA if medical attention and treatment are necessary.
To find out if your employer will grant domestic violence leave, consult your employment contract or management for more information.
How do I get domestic violence leave in Ohio?
State law does not guarantee domestic violence leave in Ohio. To get domestic violence leave in Ohio, consult your employer, union, or contract for further details.
Can I lose my job during my domestic violence leave in Ohio?
Ohio Code prohibits an employer from discharging, terminating, or retaliating against an employee because of time lost from regular employment due to the employee’s attendance at any court proceeding according to a subpoena. If you are responding to a domestic violence incident in a court proceeding, your employer cannot legally terminate you.