Madden/Karcher Bill To Create The ‘New Jersey Security And Financial Empowerment Act’ Clears Senate Labor Committee

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and Ellen Karcher that would provide an additional 20 days of leave time per year to victims of sexual and domestic abuse has been approved by the Senate Labor Committee.

“The emotional wounds of domestic and sexual abuse often take longer to heal than physical scars,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. ” This legislation would allow survivors time to seek medical attention, counseling, legal help and any other services that can help advance the healing process without the fear of losing employment.”

“Domestic violence and sexual assault can be crippling ordeals, with victims sometimes facing physical and emotional trauma that doesn’t heal over night,” said Senator Karcher, D-Mercer and Monmouth. “Through this bill, we would give these victims the time to heal, pursue legal action, obtain counseling, or whatever else they need to reclaim their lives. It is a compassionate measure that will help many overcome the paralyzing anxiety associated with domestic violence and sexual assault.”

The Senators’ measure, S-1194, would entitle victims of sexual assault or domestic violence or their immediate family members to receive 20 days of unpaid leave time from work, once all paid leave time and leave provided by all State and Federal Leave Acts is exhausted. Under the bill, employees would have to provide their employers written notice of a need for leave, and they would be required to keep all information confidential. Employers found in violation of the bill’s provisions could be fined up to $5,000.

This measure now awaits a vote by the full Senate.