Domestic Violence Leave Rights


All regular, part–time, temporary, and term employees of the college, upon hire, are entitled to this leave if they have been the victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse. The leave must be used to address issues directly related to the abusive behavior, such as seeking medical attention, counseling, or victim services. The leave may also be taken to obtain legal assistance, to attend or appear in court proceedings, or to meet with a district attorney or law-enforcement personnel.


You may take up to 15 days of unpaid time off in any 12–month period if either you or a family member is:

  • The victim of abusive behavior such as domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or kidnapping
  • Seeking medical attention, counseling, or legal or other victim services directly related to the abusive behavior against you or a family member

The time off available under this law does not apply to an employee who is the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against her or his family member.

In this regard, “family” means not only legally married spouses but also:

  • People in a substantive dating or engagement relationship who live together
  • People who have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together
  • A parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild
  • People in a guardianship relationship

Employees will normally use their vacation time, sick time, and personal days before taking leave under this law.


You are required to provide notice whenever possible, but if there is a threat of imminent danger, notice is not required. You must inform Human Resources within three (3) work days that the time taken was due to domestic violence or sexual abuse. Notice can be provided by you, a family member, or a professional assisting you.

Time off taken pursuant to this law is protected provided you produce supporting documentation within 30 days of the last day of an absence if such absence was due to domestic violence or other reasons covered by the law.


For information and training on issues related to domestic violence or sexual abuse, call the Human Resources office 413.597.2681.

The Elizabeth Freeman Center has a 24/7 Hotline – a toll-free hotline, (866) 401-2425, that you can call anytime of the day or night for support, counseling, advocacy, shelter, or just to talk.

e4health can be reached by calling 1-800-828-6025, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit . Enter “williams college” as the user name and “guest” as the password.