senate Bill S1609

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Relates to the entitlement to unpaid leave of absence for victims of domestic violence

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to labor
Jan 10, 2011 referred to labor

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S1609 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 19-C ยงยง697 - 697-i, Lab L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4225

S1609 - Bill Texts

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Relates to the entitlement to unpaid leave of absence for victims of domestic violence; permits victims of domestic violence to take an unpaid leave of absence for ninety days from employment to address on-going domestic violence; defines "address on-going domestic violence"; contains provision to protect the individual's job position and benefits.

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BILL NUMBER:S1609

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the labor law, in relation to the entitlement to unpaid leave
of absence from employment for victims of domestic violence

PURPOSE:
To allow victims of domestic violence to take unpaid leave of absence
to address ongoing domestic violence issues.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The labor law is amended by adding a new article 19-C, entitled
"Unpaid Leave of Absence for Victims of Domestic Violence". Under
this bill, any employee who is a victim of domestic violence shall be
eligible for ninety days of unpaid leave from their employment during
any twelve month period in order to address ongoing domestic
violence, which has rendered the employee unable to perform the
necessary job functions of such person's position.

EXISTING LAW:
No existing law.
Victims of domestic violence often suffer long term physical and
emotional problems requiring medical and counseling services as a
result of their domestic violence. In addition, children of domestic
violence victims often need special assistance in coping with the
aftermath of this special kind of violence. Additionally, victims
often must go through a lengthy legal process. Sometimes victims must
relocate to another residence to prevent more violence.

All of these issues may take substantial time for a victim to address
and resolve. This bill seeks to help victims by assuring them that
their employment will not be lost due to their victimization. A
victim of domestic violence should not have to fear that one result
of the violence perpetrated against her, is that she will end up
losing her job.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2005-06: S.3761
2007-08: S.4178
2009-10: S.4225

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Ninety days after it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1609

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 10, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor

AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to the entitlement to  unpaid
  leave of absence from employment for victims of domestic violence

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new  article  19-D  to
read as follows:
                              ARTICLE 19-D
                       UNPAID LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR
                 VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE

SECTION 697. DEFINITIONS.
        697-A. ENTITLEMENT TO LEAVE.
        697-B. LEAVE TAKEN INTERMITTENTLY OR ON REDUCED LEAVE SCHEDULE.
        697-C. NOTICE OF INTENTION TO TAKE LEAVE.
        697-D. CERTIFICATION.
        697-E. CONFIDENTIALITY.
        697-F. RESTORATION TO POSITION.
        697-G. PROHIBITED ACTS.
        697-H. CIVIL ACTION.
        697-I. SAVINGS CLAUSE.
  S 697. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1.  "VICTIM OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL ABUSE" SHALL MEAN A VICTIM OF DOMES-
TIC VIOLENCE, A SEX OFFENSE, OR STALKING.
  2. "VICTIM OF DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE"  SHALL  HAVE  THE  SAME  MEANING  AS
ASCRIBED TO SUCH TERM IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-A OF THE SOCIAL
SERVICES LAW.
  3.  "VICTIM  OF  A  SEX OFFENSE" SHALL MEAN A VICTIM OF AN ACT OR ACTS
THAT WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY  OF  THE
PENAL LAW.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05684-01-1

S. 1609                             2

  4.  "VICTIM  OF  STALKING"  SHALL MEAN A VICTIM OF AN ACT OR ACTS THAT
WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF SECTION 120.45, 120.50, 120.55 OR 120.60
OF THE PENAL LAW.
  S  697-A. ENTITLEMENT TO LEAVE. ANY EMPLOYEE WHO IS A VICTIM OF DOMES-
TIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR NINETY DAYS OF UNPAID LEAVE
FROM THEIR EMPLOYMENT DURING ANY TWELVE MONTH PERIOD IN ORDER TO ADDRESS
DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE OR ONGOING EFFECTS OF SUCH DOMESTIC OR SEXU-
AL VIOLENCE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
  1. SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR, OR RECOVERING OR TAKING CARE OF  THE
VICTIM'S CHILD WHILE THE CHILD RECOVERS FROM, ANY PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOG-
ICAL INJURIES CAUSED BY THE DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE; OR
  2.  ATTENDING COUNSELING SESSIONS FOR THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL
VIOLENCE OR FOR SUCH VICTIM'S CHILD IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH THE EFFECTS OF
THE DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE; OR
  3. SEEKING LEGAL ASSISTANCE INCLUDING ATTENDING COURT  PROCEEDINGS  OR
MEETING  OR  COMMUNICATING  WITH AN ATTORNEY OR A MEMBER OF LAW ENFORCE-
MENT; OR
  4. SEEKING SERVICES FOR THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL  VIOLENCE  OR
FOR  SUCH  VICTIM'S  CHILD FROM A RESIDENTIAL OR NON-RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM
FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE; OR
  5. ENGAGING IN SAFETY PLANNING, INCLUDING ARRANGING  TO  RELOCATE  AND
RELOCATING  TO  A  TEMPORARY  OR  PERMANENT  NEW  RESIDENCE, IN ORDER TO
DECREASE THE RISK OF FUTURE DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE.
  S 697-B.  LEAVE TAKEN INTERMITTENTLY OR ON REDUCED LEAVE SCHEDULE. THE
LEAVE PURSUANT TO SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN-A OF THIS ARTICLE MAY
BE TAKEN ON A REDUCED LEAVE SCHEDULE OR INTERMITTENTLY IF  THE  EMPLOYEE
AND  EMPLOYER  AGREE ON THE SCHEDULE. TAKING LEAVE ON A REDUCED LEAVE OR
INTERMITTENT SCHEDULE SHALL NOT RESULT IN A REDUCTION IN THE  AMOUNT  OF
TOTAL  LEAVE  A  VICTIM OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS ENTITLED TO IN
THE TWELVE MONTH PERIOD.
  S 697-C. NOTICE OF INTENTION TO TAKE LEAVE. AN EMPLOYEE SHALL  PROVIDE
AN  EMPLOYER  WITH REASONABLE NOTICE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S INTENTION TO TAKE
LEAVE PURSUANT TO SECTION SIX HUNDRED  NINETY-SEVEN-A  OF  THIS  ARTICLE
UNLESS  PROVIDING  SUCH  NOTICE  IS NOT PRACTICABLE. WHEN AN UNSCHEDULED
ABSENCE OCCURS, THE EMPLOYER MAY NOT TAKE ANY ACTION AGAINST THE EMPLOY-
EE IF THE EMPLOYEE,  WITHIN  A  REASONABLE  PERIOD  OF  TIME  AFTER  THE
ABSENCE,  PROVIDES  CERTIFICATION  AS  SET  FORTH IN SECTION SIX HUNDRED
NINETY-SEVEN-D OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 697-D. CERTIFICATION. IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE  IS
A  VICTIM  OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE, THE EMPLOYER MAY REQUIRE THAT
THE REQUEST FOR LEAVE BE SUPPORTED BY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
  1. A SWORN STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY THE VICTIM  OF  DOMESTIC  OR  SEXUAL
VIOLENCE  DESCRIBING SUCH VICTIM'S NEED FOR LEAVE TO ADDRESS THE ONGOING
EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE; OR
  2. ANY DOCUMENTATION OF THE DOMESTIC  OR  SEXUAL  VIOLENCE,  INCLUDING
POLICE  REPORTS,  COURT  RECORDS,  STATEMENTS FROM A SHELTER WORKER, LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, MEDICAL WORKER, COUNSELOR, CLERGY MEMBER,  ATTORNEY
OR  ANY  OTHER PROFESSIONAL FROM WHOM THE EMPLOYEE HAS SOUGHT ASSISTANCE
TO ADDRESS THE DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND ITS EFFECTS; OR
  3. ANY  OTHER  CORROBORATING  EVIDENCE  INCLUDING  PHYSICAL  EVIDENCE,
PHOTOGRAPHS,  OR  STATEMENTS FROM OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE AWARE OF THE
DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND ITS EFFECTS.
  S 697-E. CONFIDENTIALITY. ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED  TO  THE  EMPLOYER,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INFORMATION UNDER SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINE-
TY-SEVEN-D  OF  THIS ARTICLE, DESCRIBING THE DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE
IN THE EMPLOYEE'S LIFE AND THE REQUEST TO TAKE A LEAVE  TO  ADDRESS  THE

S. 1609                             3

EFFECTS  OF  DOMESTIC  OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE, SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL BY
THE EMPLOYER.   DISCLOSURE SHALL ONLY BE ALLOWED  IF  THE  EMPLOYEE,  IN
WRITING, CONSENTS TO OR REQUESTS DISCLOSURE.
  S  697-F.  RESTORATION  TO  POSITION.  1. ANY EMPLOYEE WHO TAKES LEAVE
UNDER SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN-A OF THIS ARTICLE, SHALL BE ENTI-
TLED TO RETURN FROM SUCH LEAVE AND BE RESTORED TO THE SAME POSITION HELD
BY SUCH EMPLOYEE WHEN THE LEAVE BEGAN OR BE RESTORED  TO  AN  EQUIVALENT
POSITION WITH EQUIVALENT BENEFITS, PAY AND OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF
EMPLOYMENT.
  2.  THE  TAKING  OF  LEAVE UNDER SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN-A OF
THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT RESULT IN THE LOSS  OF  ANY  EMPLOYMENT  BENEFITS
ACCRUED PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH THE LEAVE BEGAN.
  3.  (A)  EXCEPT  AS  PROVIDED  IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, ANY
EMPLOYEE WHO TAKES LEAVE UNDER SECTION  SIX  HUNDRED  NINETY-SEVEN-A  OF
THIS  ARTICLE  SHALL  BE ENTITLED TO CONTINUED COVERAGE UNDER ANY HEALTH
CARE BENEFITS PLAN PROVIDED BY SUCH PERSON'S EMPLOYER FOR  THE  DURATION
OF THE LEAVE.
  (B)  THE  EMPLOYER  MAY RECOVER THE PREMIUM THAT THE EMPLOYER PAID FOR
MAINTAINING COVERAGE UNDER A HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN FOR THE EMPLOYEE ENTI-
TLED TO LEAVE UNDER SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN-A OF THIS  ARTICLE,
IF:
  (I)  THE EMPLOYEE FAILS TO RETURN TO SUCH PERSON'S EMPLOYMENT ONCE THE
LEAVE HAS EXPIRED; AND
  (II) THE EMPLOYEE FAILS TO RETURN TO WORK FOR A REASON OTHER THAN:
  (A) THE CONTINUATION, RECURRENCE,  OR  ONSET  OF  DOMESTIC  OR  SEXUAL
VIOLENCE  THAT  ENTITLES THE EMPLOYEE TO LEAVE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION;
OR
  (B) OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE EMPLOYEE.
  S 697-G. PROHIBITED ACTS. 1. INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHTS.
  (A) EXERCISE OF RIGHTS. IT SHALL  BE  UNLAWFUL  FOR  ANY  EMPLOYER  TO
INTERFERE  WITH,  RESTRAIN,  OR  DENY  THE EXERCISE OF OR THE ATTEMPT TO
EXERCISE ANY RIGHT PROVIDED UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
  (B) EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY EMPLOYER  TO
DISCHARGE  OR  HARASS  ANY INDIVIDUAL, OR OTHERWISE DISCRIMINATE AGAINST
ANY INDIVIDUAL WITH RESPECT TO COMPENSATION, TERMS, CONDITIONS, OR PRIV-
ILEGES OF EMPLOYMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL  (INCLUDING  RETALIATION  IN  ANY
FORM  OR  MANNER)  BECAUSE  THE  INDIVIDUAL EXERCISED ANY RIGHT PROVIDED
UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR OPPOSED ANY PRACTICE MADE UNLAWFUL BY  THIS  ARTI-
CLE.
  2.  INTERFERENCE  WITH  PROCEEDINGS OR INQUIRIES. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL
FOR ANY PERSON TO DISCHARGE OR IN  ANY  OTHER  MANNER  DISCRIMINATE  (AS
DESCRIBED  IN  PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION) AGAINST
ANY INDIVIDUAL BECAUSE SUCH INDIVIDUAL:
  (A) HAS FILED ANY CHARGE, OR HAS INSTITUTED OR CAUSED TO BE INSTITUTED
ANY PROCEEDING, UNDER OR RELATED TO THIS ARTICLE;
  (B) HAS GIVEN, OR IS ABOUT TO GIVE, ANY INFORMATION IN CONNECTION WITH
ANY INQUIRY OR PROCEEDING RELATING TO  ANY  RIGHT  PROVIDED  UNDER  THIS
ARTICLE; OR
  (C)  HAS TESTIFIED, OR IS ABOUT TO TESTIFY, IN ANY INQUIRY OR PROCEED-
ING RELATING TO ANY RIGHT PROVIDED UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
  S 697-H. CIVIL ACTION. 1. BY EMPLOYEE.  ANY  PERSON  DENIED  LEAVE  OR
BENEFITS  DUE UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR AGGRIEVED BY AN ACTION MADE UNLAWFUL
BY THIS ARTICLE SHALL HAVE A CAUSE OF ACTION IN ANY COURT OF APPROPRIATE
JURISDICTION FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY WAGES, SALARY, EMPLOYMENT  BENE-
FITS  OR OTHER COMPENSATION DENIED OR LOST TO SUCH INDIVIDUAL BY REASONS
OF THE VIOLATION AND/OR ANY ACTUAL  MONETARY  LOSSES  SUSTAINED  BY  THE

S. 1609                             4

INDIVIDUAL  AS  A DIRECT RESULT OF THE VIOLATION, AS WELL AS INTEREST ON
SUCH AMOUNT CALCULATED AT THE PREVAILING RATE, AND SUCH EQUITABLE RELIEF
AS  MAY  BE  APPROPRIATE,  INCLUDING  EMPLOYMENT,   REINSTATEMENT,   AND
PROMOTION,  TOGETHER  WITH  COSTS AND SUCH REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES AS
MAY BE ALLOWED BY THE COURT, AND IF THE VIOLATION WAS WILLFUL, AN  ADDI-
TIONAL  AMOUNT AS LIQUIDATED DAMAGES EQUAL TO TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE
TOTAL OF SUCH DAMAGES FOUND TO BE DUE.
  2. BY COMMISSIONER. ON BEHALF OF ANY EMPLOYEE DENIED LEAVE OR BENEFITS
DUE UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR AGGRIEVED BY AN ACTION MADE UNLAWFUL  BY  THIS
ARTICLE,  THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSIONER MAY BRING A LEGAL ACTION NECESSARY
TO COLLECT DAMAGES DUE TO THE  VIOLATION,  AND  THE  EMPLOYER  SHALL  BE
REQUIRED TO PAY SUCH DAMAGES AND IF SUCH VIOLATION WAS WILLFUL, AN ADDI-
TIONAL  AMOUNT AS LIQUIDATED DAMAGES EQUAL TO TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE
TOTAL OF SUCH DAMAGES FOUND TO BE DUE.
  3. LIMITATION OF TIME. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW,  AN
ACTION  TO  RECOVER  UPON  LIABILITY  IMPOSED  BY  THIS  ARTICLE MUST BE
COMMENCED WITHIN TWO YEARS.
  S 697-I. SAVINGS CLAUSE. IF ANY  PROVISION  OF  THIS  ARTICLE  OR  THE
APPLICATION  THEREOF TO ANY PERSON, EMPLOYER, OCCUPATION OR CIRCUMSTANCE
IS HELD INVALID, THE REMAINDER OF THE ARTICLE  AND  THE  APPLICATION  OF
SUCH  PROVISION  TO  OTHER  PERSONS,  EMPLOYEES, OCCUPATIONS, OR CIRCUM-
STANCES SHALL NOT BE AFFECTED THEREBY.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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