GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

October 23, 2013

Bill eyes work leave for domestic victims

BOSTON — When the state Senate reconvenes Thursday, lawmakers will be asked to consider legislation guaranteeing temporary leave from work to victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault.

A similar bill unanimously cleared the Senate in January 2012, then died without a vote in the House after it never emerged from the House Ways and Means Committee.

The new bill, filed by Sen. Cynthia Creem, D-Newton, and state Rep. Thomas Sannicandro, D-Ashland, would require employers to allow employees to take up to 15 days of leave from work a year — with or without pay — if the employee or a family member of the employee has been victimized by abusive behavior, must seek medical attention, counseling, legal services or to secure new housing and provided that the employee is not the perpetrator of the abuse.

The proposed new law would apply to employers with 50 or more workers.

The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development recommended the bill on Oct. 15, and the Senate Ways and Means Committee has an amendment pending substituting a new version for the bill. Senators have until Wednesday at 3 p.m. to file amendments with the clerk.

The Ways and Means amendment would require employees taking leave to provide specific types of proof for their absence, including court orders, police reports or a sworn statement.

The redraft would also require those convicted of domestic assault and battery to complete a certified batterer’s intervention program, and would create a new crime of strangulation carrying a penalty of up for five years in state prison, 2 ½ years in a house of correction, a fine of up to $5,000 or a combination of fines and imprisonment. Penalties would increase for subsequent strangulation offenses.

The bill comes amid a stepped-up push in the fight against domestic violence, both on a statewide level and in individual cities and towns.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament