No one has the right to threaten or hurt you, and no one has the right to demand sexual favors from you.

You may be eligible for a leave from work for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking if you:

  • File a police report in relation to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking
  • Participate in court or criminal proceedings related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in order to obtain a protection order, divorce or testifying in a criminal trial
  • Move to a shelter because you are a victim of domestic violence
  • Put in place actions relating to your personal safety
  • Help a family member who has suffered domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking

Abuse crosses educational, cultural, age, gender and religious lines. Women of ethnic and racial groups, all socio-economic levels, of every color and creed fall prey to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. However, there are laws to protect them from being violated.

Employees who have become victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking can leave their workplace to address their situation.

The law also gives this leave from work to part-time employees. Both Public and Private employers must institute this law as long as they are in Washington. This is to promote the policy as part of commitment in providing a safer work environment and the prevention and reduction of incidents of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Specifically,

  • Support a comprehensive workplace education and training program to prevent violence and promote healthy relationships for employees and their families
  • Provide immediate assistance and support to victims of violence, such as, information and referrals to community resources to facilitate safety and support for victims and fellow employees

Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law under the Equal Opportunity Act of 2010. Sexual harassment can take several forms but the two most common ones are the following: (1) “Quid pro quo” which is Latin and when translated means, “something for something” or “this for that”; and (2) hostile work.

Sexual assault is defined by the United States Department of Justice as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” Sexual assault includes sexual activities, such as, rape, fondling and adopted rape.

This leave is a law that is welcomed by both men and women but, especially women. Sexual assault and sexual harassment have dominated the news lately with prominent men being accused, such as Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey.

Chad Foster is a trusted family law and divorce lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.

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