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SAFE Act: Employee Rights for Domestic Violence Victims

The legal and personal issues that go along with being a victim of domestic violence can be overwhelming. As a result, many victims find that their work lives suffer while they are recovering from the trauma of domestic violence.

To address this issue, New Jersey lawmakers passed the Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act to allow victims to address their domestic violence situations while maintaining employment security. The SAFE Act, which took effect on October 1, 2013, requires New Jersey employers with 25 or more regular employees to provide up to 20 days of unpaid but job-protected leave for domestic violence victims to address any of the following:

  • To seek medical attention for one’s self, child, parent, spouse or domestic partner
  • To obtain services from a victims organization or to help a relative do so
  • To obtain psychological counseling or care for one’s self or relative
  • To relocate or take other actions to secure safety for one’s self or relative
  • To seek legal assistance for one’s self or relative
  • To attend or participate in criminal or civil court proceedings stemming from domestic violence against one’s self or relative

The SAFE Act prohibits employers from discharging, harassing or demoting employees based on their status as domestic violence victims. Unfortunately, some employers may be slow to recognize their obligations under the SAFE Act. Fortunately, New Jersey’s community of employment discrimination lawyers is ready to assist domestic violence victims and their families in asserting their workplace rights.

 

 

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Neil H. Deutsch
Senior Partner

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey's premiere practitioners of employment and civil litigation. Mr. Atkins has also been included in the Thomson Reuters list of New Jersey Super Lawyers* in Employment Litigation since 2005. Mr. Atkins believes employees have rights that should be aggressively pursued when an employer has wrongfully dealt…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a…

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Robert J. Pantina
Attorney

About Robert J. Pantina joined the firm in 2018. Mr. Pantina received his B.A. from Rider University in 2008. He received his J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2017. While in law school, Mr. Pantina interned for the Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of…

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Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins, PC in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins, PC, Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA, New…

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