Woman with a black eye sitting in a corner

Can My Employer Punish or Discipline Me for Being a Victim Of Domestic Violence?

The short answer: no.

            To limit the spread of COVID-19, we have taken necessary, collective action: social-distancing, sheltering in-place, working from home, restricted travel, etc. However, a terrible byproduct of these necessary actions has been an increase in domestic violence.

            As we return to work, whether we are physically present or working remotely to some degree, victims of domestic violence should remember that they are protected in the workplace. Under New Hampshire law, employers may not discriminate or retaliate against “an otherwise qualified individual because the individual is a victim of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking.” See NH RSA 275:71 (emphasis added).

            The New Hampshire law applies to both existing and prospective employees. For prospective employees, that means that employers cannot refuse to hire an individual because the individual is a victim of the foregoing types of abuse. For existing employees, that means that employers cannot discharge, threaten to discharge, demote, suspend, or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an individual with regard to promotion, compensation or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the individual is a victim of the foregoing types of abuse.

            If your employer or a prospective employer has taken adverse action against you because you are a victim of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking, you should consult an experienced employment law attorney. Please call us at (603) 288-1403 to see if we can help or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.

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Samantha J. Heuring
Categories

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