Domestic Violence Leave

Domestic Violence Leave

— for victims and their family members

A new Domestic Violence Leave law (RCW 49.76) passed by the 2008 Legislature allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to take reasonable leave from work — paid or unpaid — to take care of legal or law enforcement needs and obtain health care. Family members of a victim may also take reasonable leave to help the victim obtain treatment or seek help.

Features of the new law:
  • Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may take reasonable leave from work for legal or law-enforcement assistance, medical treatment, or counseling.
  • Family members may also take reasonable leave to help a victim obtain needed treatment or services.
  • Leave is with or without pay.
  • Employees may use sick leave or other paid time off, compensatory time, or unpaid leave time.
  • "Family member" includes a child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or person with whom the employee is dating.
  • All employers, public or private, are covered, regardless of size.
Get more detailed information about this new law in this helpful fact sheet:

Acrobat PDF file Domestic Violence Leave for Victims and Family Members (112 KB PDF)


For related information:
Acrobat PDF file Table of Family Care and Family Leave Laws (131 KB PDF) - Provides a comparison of state and federal laws regarding leave for pregnancy and other family care issues.

For questions about any of Washington's leave laws, contact the Employment Standards program at your local L&I office or the central office in Tumwater at 360-902-5316.

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