Domestic Violence Leave law allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and their family members to take reasonable leave, from work to obtain legal assistance, medical treatment, mental health counseling, participate in safety planning, or relocate. RCW 49.76.030
Employers with one or more employees must comply with the law. RCW 49.12.005(3)(a); RCW 49.76.020(3).
Employees are allowed to take reasonable leave, meaning leave that is reasonable in duration. The reasonableness of duration of leave is determined on a case by case basis considering the reasons for taking leave under RCW 49.76.030. WAC 296-135-050.
An employee may choose to take unpaid or paid leave including sick leave and other paid time off, or compensatory time.
An employee may take intermittent leave; leave on a reduced worked schedule or leave in a single block of time. WAC 296-135-040.
Yes. Employers may not discharge, threaten to discharge, demote, deny a promotion to, sanction, discipline, retaliate against, harass or otherwise discriminate against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because the employee exercised their rights under Domestic Violence Leave. RCW 49.76.120.
During leave, employers must maintain the employee’s health insurance at the same level as if leave had not been taken. RCW 49.76.050(2).
Upon the employee’s return, employers must place the employee in the same or similar position that they held prior to taking leave. RCW 49.76.050(2).
Employees may request reasonable safety accommodations such as a transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, changed work email, changed work telephone number, changed work station or any other adjustment to a job structure, workplace facility or work requirement in response to actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. RCW 49.76.115(3).
Any employee injured by a violation of Domestic Violence Leave may file a civil action in court to prevent further violations or recover actual damages, or both. RCW 49.76.100.
An employee must provide advance notice to their employer that they will be taking leave. RCW 49.76.040(1). If the employer has a policy governing the timing of notice, the request must be consistent with that policy. RCW 49.76.040(1). However, if an employee needs leave because of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, they – or someone they designate—must give their employer notice of the leave no later than the end of the first day on which the leave is taken. RCW 49.040(1).
If their employer requests verification, employees must provide verification to support their request for Domestic Violence Leave. RCW 49.76.040(2). Verification must be provided in a timely manner, or in the case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, within a reasonable time during or after leave is taken. RCW 49.76.040(3).
An employee may choose to provide any of the following as verification:
Disclaimer: This publication is not legal advice. It is intended as legal information only. For legal advice specific to your needs, contact the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers, PS at 800-972-0411.