E3.54 Domestic Violence Leave Act

Effective Date: January 15, 2013
Last Reviewed: August 30, 2019

The Massachusetts Act Relative to Domestic Violence (ARDV) provides eligible employees with up to 15 days of leave during a 12-month period to:

1. To seek or obtain medical attention, counseling, victim services or legal assistance;

2. Secure housing;

3. Obtain a protective order from a court;

4. Appear in court or before a grand jury;

5. Meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official; or

6. Attend child custody proceeding or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee.

Definitions: Family member - is defined as spouse, persons in a substantive dating or engagement relationship and who reside together, persons having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or resided together, a parent, step-parent, child, step-child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild, or persons in a guardianship relationship.

Eligible employees - All full and part-time employees are eligible under the ARDV. If an employee is the perpetrator of the domestic violence they are not eligible under this leave. Eligible employees may take up to 15 days of leave in any 12- month period. Eligible employees are require to use accrued vacation, personal, sick or bonus time to be paid for the hours taken under ARDV.

Abuse – is defined as attempting to cause or causing physical harm, placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm, causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress or threating to engage in sexual activity with a dependent child, engaging in mental abuse which includes threats, intimidations, or acts designed to induce terror, depriving another of medical care, housing, food or other necessities of life, or restraining the liberty of another.

Except in cases of imminent danger to the health and safety of an employee, employees who wish to take leave under ARDV must notify the Human Resources Office 7-days prior to the first scheduled day of leave. If a threat of imminent danger exists, the employee or employee’s family member, employee’s counselor, health care provider, clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate, or other professional who has assisted the employee must notify the Human Resources Office within 3-work days that the leave was taken or is being taken under ARDV.

The Human Resources Office may require documentation to substantiate a leave. Documents which can satisfy this request include:

• A protective, order, order of equitable relief or other documentation issued by a court of competent jurisdiction as a result of abusive behavior;

• A document on letterhead of a court, provider or public agency which the employee attended for the purpose of acquiring assistance;

• A police report or statement of a victim or witness provide to police;

• Documentation that the perpetrator of the abusive behavior has admitted to sufficient facts to support a finding of guilt of abusive behavior, or has been convicted, or has been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent; 

• Medical documentation of treatment; 

• A sworn statement, provided by a counselor, social worker, health care worker, clergy member, shelter worker, legal advocate or other professional who has assisted the employee;

• A signed statement by the employee from the employee attesting that they have been the victim of abusive behavior or is the family member of a victim of abusive behavior. All documentation above-listed will be retained in the Human Resources office. It will be maintained only for as long as it is necessary to make a determination as to whether the employee is eligible for leave.

All documentation above-listed is confidential and may be viewed only by the Director of Human Resources, and their designee, the College’s General Counsel, and their designee, and the College’s Chief of Campus Police, and their designee.