Although intimate partner violence often starts in the privacy of one’s home, its impact spills over in almost all aspects of the victim’s life. The effects of violence are tangible – physical and emotional harm to the person and their dependents, loss of educational or employment opportunities, financial problems, interactions with the criminal justice system, and ongoing legal issues. To address the loss of employment, federal and state governments have implemented leave laws to offer job protection for victims of intimate partner violence. Leave laws are an essential aspect of employment as the ability to take leave from work provides job security to employees who need to take time off to care for themselves and their families. However, differences in federal and state laws determine which type of employee is covered, for what length of time, and if they will be paid during their leave. While federal and some state laws provide job security for victims of intimate partner violence, there are many victims who are not protected under any law or the leave time afforded to them is inaccessible due to various factors. This Comment seeks to analyze the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave laws in New York and their impact on victims of intimate partner violence, and compare them to the leave laws of Washington, D.C. and New Jersey. Both Washington, D.C. and New Jersey offer more comprehensive and holistic protection for victims of intimate partner violence and should serve as a model for New York and the federal government.
The author would like to thank Professor Julie Goldscheid for her tremendous help with developing and offering feedback throughout the writing process and the editors and staff of CUNY Law Review, especially Yulia Marshak, for her steadfast encouragement throughout the process. This Comment is dedicated to Nasima Khan for being my constant source of inspiration in everything I do, thank you.
Nusrat J. Khan, Domestic Violence and Leave Laws: How New York Can Improve Its Leave Policies Based on the Laws of Washington, D.C. and New Jersey, 25 CUNY. L. Rev. 336 (2022).