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Victim Leave in New York

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New York law requires that employers provide crime victim leave to victims of a crime, as well as to individuals who are subpoenaed as a witness in a criminal proceeding. In addition, effective Nov. 18, 2019, New York law requires employers to provide leave to victims of domestic violence. Both kind of leave are discussed below.

Crime Victim Leave

Under the law, a “crime victim” includes:

  • The aggrieved party.
  • The aggrieved party’s next of kin, if the aggrieved party died as a result of the crime.
  • The victim’s representative (i.e., attorney or guardian).
  • A Good Samaritan.
  • An individual who applies for or seeks to enforce an order of protection under New York law

Eligible employees may take leave to appear as a witness, to consult with a district attorney, or to exercise certain other rights under the law. The law does not specify the minimum or maximum amount of leave that an employee may take.

Employees who are crime victims or who are subpoenaed as witnesses at criminal proceedings must provide the employer with at least one day’s notice before taking the leave.

An employer may not discharge or penalize any employee who exercises his or her right to take such leave .
Leave need not be paid. For more information, please click here.

Domestic  Violence Leave

New York employers must provide leave to employees whom the employer knows are victims of domestic violence. Leave (for a reasonable amount of time) must be allowed under the law for the following purposes: 

  • To seek medical attention (including for a child victim);
  • To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program or rape crisis center;
  • To obtain psychological counseling (including for a child victim);
  • To take action to increase safety from domestic violence in the future, including relocating; or
  • To obtain legal services, assist in the prosecution of the offense or appear in court.

Failing to provide the leave as a reasonable accommodation is an unlawful discriminatory practice, except if it would cause undue hardship to the employer, taking into account the size and type of the employer’s business or enterprise.

Employers may require employees to take the leave as ordinary paid leave, where available, and as unpaid leave, where paid leave is not available.

Employees must provide reasonable advance notice of the leave where feasible. When advance notice is not feasible, the employee must provide a certification if the employer requests it (within a reasonable time after the leave). The certification must be in the form of a police report, a court order or other evidence that the employee appeared in court, or documentation from one of a number of specified counseling or medical professionals.

For more information, please click here.

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.

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