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On August 8, Governor Deval Patrick signed bill into law “An Act Relative to Domestic Violence” that added a new form of employee leave into law: domestic violence leave.

Any employer in Massachusetts with 50 or more employees is now required by law to provide a maximum of 15 days each year to victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence leave will be granted if the employee is a victim of domestic abuse. The employee may this designated leave for court proceedings, mental health sessions, or any other purposes that are closely related to the abuse. “Domestic abuse” is broadly defined, including forms of both mental and physical abuse.

Time off may be paid or unpaid; this is left to the employer to decide. As part of the new law, employers must notify employees of the policy.

Please contact Attorney David Dishman if you feel that your domestic leave rights are being violated.

Employers should notify their employees of the change in the law and update their employment policies as necessary.

Attorney David Dishman specializes in employment law in Boston, MA.

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