Domestic Violence Leave Policy

Under Massachusetts law, all employees, regardless of their eligibility for other leave, are eligible for up to fifteen (15) days of unpaid leave in any 12-month period to address the consequences of “abusive behavior” to themselves or family members.    

A Lesley University employee must meet the following criteria to take domestic violence leave:

1. The employee, or a family member of the employee, is a victim of abusive behavior.

2. The employee is 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; or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee; and

3. The employee is not the perpetrator of the abusive behavior. For the purposes of this policy, “abusive behavior” means domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or kidnapping, as defined by Massachusetts law, against an employee or the employee’s family member. In addition, “family member” means a spouse, partner, parent, step-parent, child, step-child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, a person with whom an employee has a substantive dating or engagement relationship, a person with whom an employee has a child in common, or a person with whom an employee is in a guardianship relationship.

An employee utilizing domestic violence leave must first exhaust all annual or vacation leave, personal leave and sick leave already available to the employee prior to requesting or taking leave under the Law, unless the employer waives this requirement.

Sick time and vacation time all annual or vacation leave, personal leave, and sick time will not accrue during the domestic leave.

  • Notice

    Except in cases of imminent danger to an employee or an employee’s family member, you must provide five (5) days’ advance notice of the need to take leave. If an employee takes leave due to imminent danger to an employee or an employee’s family member and cannot provide advance notice, the employee must notify the Lesley within three (3) workdays.

    Such notice may be communicated to Lesley by the employee, a family member, or any professional person who may be assisting the employee or an employee’s family member in addressing the abusive behavior.

  • Documentation

    Within five (5) business days after returning to work, Lesley University requires that employees who utilize domestic leave provide documentation that the employee or employee’s family member has been a victim of abusive behavior and that the leave was taken to address issues directly related to the abusive behavior, as defined above.

    The types of documents an employee can provide are:

    1. A protective order or other documentation issued by a court.

    2. A document under the letterhead of the court, provider or public agency which the employee attended for the purposes of acquiring assistance as it relates to the abusive behavior against the employee or the employee’s family member.

    3. A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to police, including a police incident report, documenting the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or the employee’s family member.

    4. Documentation that the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee has: admitted to sufficient facts or has been convicted of the crime.

    5. Documentation of medical treatment or counseling as a result of the abusive behavior against you or your family member.

    6. A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, provided by a professional person who has assisted the employee or the employee’s family member in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior.

    7. A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, from the employee attesting that the employee has been the victim of abusive behavior or is the family member of a victim of abusive behavior.

  • Unscheduled Absences

    If an unscheduled absence occurs as a result of abusive behavior, no negative action will be taken against an employee if, within thirty (30) days from the last unauthorized absence in the instance of consecutive days of unauthorized absences, the employee provides any of the documentation described above.

  • Employment Protection

    Upon the employee’s return from such leave, the employee will be restored to the employee’s original job or to an equivalent position, unless economic, business or other circumstances unrelated to the employee’s use of leave under this policy would have resulted in a change in their employment status or position.

    The use of leave under this policy shall not result in the loss of any employment benefits accrued prior to the date on which the leave taken under this policy commenced.

    Employees shall not be subject to retaliation for their use of leave under this policy.

  • Policy History

    Effective: 8/8/2014
    Issued: 2015

  • Responsible Official

    Director of Human Resources

Questions?
Contact Jane Joyce, Director of Human Resources, with any questions.