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Domestic Violence Leave Rights

Section 520

In accordance with Massachusetts law, employees are eligible for unpaid, job-protected leave if they or a family member have been the victim of abusive behavior.


Employees are eligible for up to 15 days of unpaid leave in any 12-month period if they or a family member are a victim of abusive behavior and are using the leave from work to:

  • Seek or obtain medical attention, counseling, victim services, or legal assistance;
  • Secure housing;
  • Obtain a protective order from a court;
  • Appear in court or before a grand jury;
  • Meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official;
  • Attend child custody proceedings directly related to the abusive behavior; or
  • Address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior.

The alleged perpetrator of abusive behavior against a family member is not eligible for Domestic Violence Leave.

Terms and Conditions

“Family” includes not only legally married spouses, but also:

  • People in a substantive dating or engagement relationship who live together
  • People who have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together
  • A parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild
  • People in a guardianship relationship

Employees may apply accrued vacation time, sick time, and personal days to receive pay during this otherwise unpaid leave and use of such leave will run concurrently with leave under this policy.


You are required to provide advanced notice whenever possible, but if there is a threat of imminent danger, notice is not required. You must inform Human Resources within three (3) work days that the time taken to address domestic violence. Notice can be provided by you, a family member, or a professional assisting you.

In the event that you take this leave, you may be required to provide documentation evidencing that you or your family member has been a victim of domestic violence or abusive behavior within thirty (30) days of the leave request.  Such forms of documentation may include:

  • A court issued protective order
  • An official document from a court, provider or public agency
  • A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to the police
  • Official legal documentation attesting to perpetrator’s guilt
  • Medical documentation of treatment for the abusive behavior
  • A sworn statement from the employee attesting to being a victim of abusive behavior
  • A sworn statement from a professional who has assisted the employee or the employee's family, for example, a counselor, a social worker or a member of the clergy.

Provided you have submitted proper documentation, your employment is protected for leave taken under this policy.  If you have questions at any time as to how this policy applies to you, please contact the Office of Human Resources.