NJ SAFE Act gives up to 20 days of unpaid leave to employees victimised by domestic or sexual violence

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has signed the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE Act) into law, with an effective date of 1 October 2013.

Covering private and public employers with 25 or more employees, the Act provides an eligible employee who has been the victim of a domestic violence incident or a sexually violent offence with up to 20 days of leave. An eligible employee may request leave under this Act each time an incident or offence occurs and within one year of the incident or offence. The Act also permits an eligible employee to take leave when his or her child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner has been the victim of such an incident or offence.

The purpose of the leave is to allow the employee time to handle issues arising from the domestic violence incident or sexually violent offence, such as seeking medical attention or recovering from physical or psychological injuries caused by the incident; obtaining services from victim services organisations; obtaining psychological or other counselling; relocating temporarily or permanently, or taking other safety precautions against future incidents; seeking legal assistance related to or derived from the incident, or seeking other remedies to ensure health and safety; or attending, participating in or preparing for a criminal or civil court proceeding relating to an incident…

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