Massachusetts law about employment leave for domestic violence

A compilation of laws, selected case law, web sources, and print sources about the Massachusetts law providing leave for domestic violence victims and their family members.

Table of Contents

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Need to take time off from work to deal with domestic violence?, MassLegalHelp (2019)
Defines abuse and domestic violence, which employers are required to give time off, the amount of time and type of leave that can be taken, documentation that must be provided, and an employer’s obligation to keep your information confidential. It also gives information about who to contact if an employer does not comply with the law.

Massachusetts law

15 days Up to 15 days in 12 months

MGL c.149, § 52E Leave from work when employee or family member of employee has been victim of abusive behavior. 
Provides for up to 15 days of leave in any 12 month period, for employers with 50 or more employees under certain circumstances. Notice of law is required by employer and leave can be unpaid or paid using employee sick time.

Selected case law

Osborne-Trussell v. The Children's Hospital Corp., 488 Mass. 248 (2021)
Court ruled that a defendant who had been hired by the plaintiff was terminated illegally after the defendant informed her employer that she might need to leave to cooperate with law enforcement regarding her abuser violating a harassment order (MGL c.149, § 52E).

Web sources

Attorney General's advisory concerning M.G.L. c. 149, § 52E employment leave for victims and family members of abuse, Mass. Attorney General, 2018.
Provides an explanation of the law granting leave for victims of domestic violence, with guidance for employers.

Breaks and time off: domestic violence and abusive situation leave, Attorney General's Fair Labor Division.
Explains when an employee can use domestic violence and abusive situation leave.

Print sources

Massachusetts employment law, MCLE, 2020, Chapter 20: Interrelationships Among Federal and Massachusetts Leave Laws

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Last updated: April 8, 2022
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