Connecticut: New Laws Enhance Workplace Protections for DV Victims

Effective October 1, 2010, two new laws are strengthening the protections available to family violence victims in the workplace and require virtually all employers in Connecticut to provide employees who are victims of domestic violence with up to 12 days of family violence leave per calendar year.

The new law enhances existing protections for crime victims at work, and now more explicitly prohibits an employer from refusing to hire, terminating, penalizing, threatening, or otherwise retaliating against any employee because the worker is a victim of family violence or because the employee attends or participates in a court proceeding related to a civil case in which he or she is a victim of family violence.

Another section of the bill gives employees a new right to take “family violence leave,” by requiring all Connecticut employers with three or more workers to provide family violence victims with at least 12 days of paid or unpaid leave if reasonably necessary to:

  • seek medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability,
  • obtain services from a victim services organization,
  • relocate due to family violence reasons, or
  • participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from such family violence.

The new law does not require employers to pay the employee while on leave but permits employees to use their accrued compensatory time, vacation time, personal days, or other paid time off in connection with the leave.   Source