senate Bill S711

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 05, 2011 referred to labor

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S711 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Labor
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 19-D ยงยง696 - 696-i, Lab L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S5610

S711 - 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:S711

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 OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To allow victims of domestic or sexual violence to take unpaid leave
of absence to address ongoing domestic or sexual violence issues.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

The labor law is amended by adding a new article 19-C, entitled
"Unpaid Leave of Absence for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence".
Under this bill, any employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual
violence shall be eligible for ninety days of unpaid leave from their
employment during any twelve month period in order to address ongoing
domestic or sexual violence.

JUSTIFICATION:

Victims of domestic or sexual 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
or sexual 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 or sexual 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:

2008-2010 Referred to Labor

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect 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
________________________________________________________________________

                                   711

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ROBACH -- 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 696. DEFINITIONS.
        696-A. ENTITLEMENT TO LEAVE.
        696-B. LEAVE TAKEN INTERMITTENTLY OR ON REDUCED LEAVE SCHEDULE.
        696-C. NOTICE OF INTENTION TO TAKE LEAVE.
        696-D. CERTIFICATION.
        696-E. CONFIDENTIALITY.
        696-F. RESTORATION TO POSITION.
        696-G. PROHIBITED ACTS.
        696-H. CIVIL ACTION.
        696-I. SAVINGS CLAUSE.
  S 696. 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 MEAN AN INDIVIDUAL  WHO  IS  A
VICTIM  OF  AN  ACT  WHICH WOULD CONSTITUTE A FAMILY OFFENSE PURSUANT TO
SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01939-01-1

S. 711                              2

  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.
  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 696-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 696-B.  LEAVE TAKEN INTERMITTENTLY OR ON REDUCED LEAVE SCHEDULE. THE
LEAVE  PURSUANT  TO SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-SIX-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 696-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-SIX-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-SIX-D OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 696-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. 711                              3

  S 696-E. CONFIDENTIALITY. ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED  TO  THE  EMPLOYER,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INFORMATION UNDER SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINE-
TY-SIX-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
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  696-F.  RESTORATION  TO  POSITION.  1. ANY EMPLOYEE WHO TAKES LEAVE
UNDER SECTION SIX HUNDRED NINETY-SIX-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-SIX-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-SIX-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-SIX-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 696-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 696-H. CIVIL ACTION. 1. BY EMPLOYEE.  ANY  PERSON  DENIED  LEAVE  OR
BENEFITS  DUE UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR AGGRIEVED BY AN ACTION MADE UNLAWFUL

S. 711                              4

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
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  696-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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