Employees who are victims of family violence are permitted under Connecticut law to take paid or unpaid leave. Section 14 of State of Connecticut Public Act 10-144 states “An employer shall not deprive an employee of employment, penalize or threaten or otherwise coerce an employee with respect to employment…because the employee is a victim of family violence.” Section 15 requires employers to allow victims of family violence to take paid or unpaid leave.
As defined in Connecticut General Statute 46b-38a, “family violence” is defined as an incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury or assault, or an act of threatened violence that constitutes fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault between family or household members. Please note that verbal abuse or argument is not considered family violence unless there is present danger and the likelihood that physical danger will occur.
Family Violence Leave is available for the following reasons related to or resulting from an incident of family violence:
- To seek medical care for physical or psychological injury or disability,
- To obtain services from a victim services organization,
- To relocate, or
- To participate in a civil or criminal proceeding.
Applying for Family Violence Leave
An employee wishing to exercise his/her right to Family Violence Leave must complete a Request for Family Violence Leave form and provide supporting documentation, which should include either:
- A police or court record related to the family violence, or
- A signed written statement that the employee is a victim of family violence from one of the following:
- An employee or agent of a victim services organization,
- An attorney, an employee of the Judicial Branch’s Office of Victim Services, or the Office of the Victim Advocate, or
- A licensed medical professional or other licensed professional from whom the employee has sought assistance with respect to family violence.
If the need to use the leave is foreseeable, the employee should complete the form at least seven (7) days prior. If the need is not foreseeable, the employee should provide notice as soon as practical. In addition to completing the form, the employee should notify his/her supervisor of the leave, which will be confirmed by Human Resources when the completed form and required documentation is received.
How the Leave Is Paid
Employees are required to use sick time when the leave is for medical care or counseling. If the employee does not have sick time available, or if the reason for the leave is non-medical, the employee has the option to use accruals, such as vacation or personal leave, in lieu of unpaid leave. Unpaid leaves are limited to 12 days in a calendar year.
If a victim of family violence is eligible for state and/or federal family & medical leave, the time the employee spends on family & medical leave does not count toward the family violence leave entitlement.
Standard time codes are used for absences while on a Family Violence Leave. For example, if an employee is using sick time, standard sick time codes apply, or if an employee is using vacation accruals, the time off should be coded as vacation.
Employees should direct their questions concerning Family Violence Leave to their HR Leave Administration Specialist:
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