Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys Today to Evaluate Your Case
Employees are often cautioned about bringing private problems into the workplace. But sometimes this cannot be helped. If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, you cannot simply shake it off, go into the office, and be as productive and communicative as usual. Violence at home has a significant impact on the physical, mental, and emotional state of the victim. It is not something that can be checked at the office door.
Federal and state law give you the option to take time off work if you have been the victim of domestic violence. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows such victims to take a leave of absence in certain cases. The California Family Rights Act does the same for victims of domestic violence in the state.
The Consequences of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is defined as any act of mental or physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner. You need not actually live with your partner in order to be a victim of domestic violence. The defining characteristic of the latter is the type of relationship you have with your abuser, which has a greater psychological impact than abuse from a stranger.
If you have been struck or verbally tormented and bullied by someone you have come to love and trust, the mental agony, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty will affect your ability to work. It has been estimated that victims of domestic violence lose an average of 137 hours of work per year. If you are in an abusive relationship, you may need to seek medical attention whenever your partner strikes. If the abuse has escalated to the point of presenting a clear threat to your life, then you may need time to relocate to a safe place. It is not always possible to balance the demands of your job with the need to keep yourself safe.
Why You Need Time Off
The public tends to have a stereotype of what a person in an abusive relationship looks like. People often think that small, shy, wilting homemakers are the ones who suffer from this kind of abuse. This is simply not the case. Although the vast majority of domestic abuse victims are women, many of them have high-power careers outside of the home. For many such women, the authority, confidence, and independence they enjoy in the workplace does not necessarily carry over to their relationship with their partner.
If you are in this type of situation, it can be especially difficult for you to navigate your way through it. You don’t need judgment; you need help. And one of the first things you should do is hire a family lawyer in Los Angeles. Your legal counsel can help you deal with the delicacies of keeping your career on track while protecting yourself against an abusive partner.
Domestic abuse takes many forms and sometimes comes in various combinations. Your abuser may not only subject you to physical and verbal violence; they may also try to ruin your career. They may disable your car so that you cannot get to work, do things to embarrass you in front of your colleagues, or sabotage child care arrangements. An abuser can also cause you additional trouble by emptying the joint account you have with them or running up credit card debt.
If things have gotten to the breaking point, you might need to take time off to separate from them and arrange protection for you and your children. You might start asking yourself: what do I need to get a restraining order.
If you have asked what I need to get a restraining order, then you should definitely hire a domestic violence leave lawyer in Los Angeles to puzzle the question out and get to a satisfactory answer. Filing the petition, gathering the evidence of the abuse, and making the court appearances required to finalize the restraining order will require you to take time off work. You should not be punished for protecting yourself and your children from an abusive partner.
How It Works
To take full advantage of federal and state laws, you should have an understanding of how they work. Your lawyer can fill you in on the details, but here are a few general guidelines concerning your rights under the law:
- How much time off
You are entitled to a reasonable amount of time off to deal with the aftermath of domestic violence. The law prohibits your employer from firing or disciplining you for doing this.
- Reasons for taking leave
You can take leave to receive medical care, attend psychological counselling, arrange safe accommodation, seek a restraining order, and attend to legal proceedings related to domestic violence.
- Paid leave
You can use your paid leave to deal with domestic violence. In California, you must also be granted unpaid leave to attend to the matter.
Family and Medical Leave Act
This act allows employees to take up to 12 weeks off every 12 months to deal with a serious health condition or to care for a family member or child with a serious health condition. You can also invoke this law to help you deal with the physical injuries and psychological trauma of domestic abuse. You can also use it to help a parent, sibling, or other relative who is the victim of domestic violence.
FMLA is unpaid leave. However, it can be used in conjunction with the paid leave you have accrued with your employer. The law applies only to companies that have 50 or more employees; and you must have worked for your employer for at least 1,250 hours in the past year to be eligible for it.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
You should use the law to protect your person, your children, and your career against the machinations of an abusive partner. An attorney can help you figure out the best strategy for doing so after reviewing your options.