Domestic Violence Leave

Leave for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and their family members.

The Domestic Violence Leave law (RCW 49.76) ( allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to take reasonable leave from work to take care of legal or law enforcement needs, seek treatment for physical and mental injuries,  obtain services from a shelter or social services program, obtain mental health counseling, participate in safety planning, relocate, or take other actions to increase safety from future incidents. Family members of a victim may also take reasonable leave to help the victim seek treatment or obtain help and services.

Features of the law:
  • Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and their family members may take reasonable leave from work for any of the reasons set out in the law. The amount of leave that is reasonable depends on the individual circumstances based on the reason for the leave.
  • "Family member" includes a child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or person with whom the employee has a dating relationship.
  • Leave is with or without pay.
  • Employees may choose to use sick leave or other paid time off, compensatory time, or unpaid leave time.
  • All private and public employers are covered, regardless of size.
  • Employers and their representatives must keep all information concerning the leave confidential.
  • Employers must maintain health insurance coverage during the leave.
  • Employers may not discharge, threaten to discharge, demote, deny a promotion to, discipline, retaliate against, harass, or otherwise discriminate against employees who request or take leave.

For more information:

For questions or training opportunities on any of Washington's leave laws, contact L&I’s protected leave specialist at 360-902-4930.

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