Did You Know?
Maine Law Can Help Employers Assist Victims
When Domestic Violence Comes to Work
Maine law protects employed victims of domestic violence through Bureau of Labor Standards and Bureau of Unemployment Compensation statutes. These laws are useful tools for employers when victims need special assistance in the workplace.
Employers should ensure that their workplaces are in compliance with these laws, and that victims of domestic violence are made aware of the protections available to them.
Employment Leave for Victims of Violence
Title 26, Subchapter VI-B, § 850.
Employers must grant reasonable and necessary leave from work if an employee or employee's daughter, son, parent, or spouse is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
The employee can use this leave to prepare for and attend court proceedings; receive medical treatment; or obtain necessary services to remedy a crisis caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Exceptions to this would include the following: if the leave would cause the employer to sustain undue hardship from the employee's absence; if the request for leave is not communicated to the employer within a reasonable time under the circumstances; or if the requested leave is impractical, unreasonable, or unnecessary based on the facts then known to the employer.
For more information go to ftp://ftp.state.me.us/pub/sos/cec/rcn/apa/12/170/170c010.doc
Title 26, Chapter 13, § 1193, #4.
Disqualification: An individual who voluntarily leaves work may not be disqualified from receiving benefits if the leaving was necessary to protect the claimant from domestic abuse and the claimant made all reasonable efforts to preserve the employment.
For more information go to http://janus.state.me.us//legis/statutes/26/title26sec1193.html
Title 26, Chapter 13, § 1043, #3.
Misconduct: 23B. Misconduct may not be found solely on actions taken by the employee that were necessary to protect the claimant or an immediate family member from domestic violence if the employee made all reasonable efforts to preserve the employment.
Please note: Unemployment claims resulting from domestic violence are charged to the general unemployment fund, not to the individual business from which the worker was employed. FMI contact the Maine Unemployment Benefits Division at (207) 287-3805. To reach an Unemployment Call Center call 1-800-593-7660 or TTY, 1-888-457-8884.
For more information go to http://janus.state.me.us//legis/statutes/search.asp. Click on summary.