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De Blasio: Bill gives paid leave in domestic violence cases

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 that his administration will devote more police and legal resources to combat domestic violence. (Credit: Newsday / Matthew Chayes)

Employers of domestic-violence accusers would need to grant them paid time off for “immediate safety needs,” under legislation to be introduced Thursday at a meeting of the New York City Council.

Court dates, counseling, registering a child in a new school, and meeting with a lawyer would be included in the proposed “Paid Safe Leave” legislation.

If it passes, the law would overlap with the city’s 2014 paid sick-leave policy requiring employees who work more than 80 hours a year to accrue at least 40 hours of paid sick leave.

It’s part of a push by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to combat the close to 800 domestic violence calls handled daily by the NYPD. De Blasio announced the legislation Wednesday at a lower Manhattan news conference with his wife, Chirlane McCray, by his side.

In addition, de Blasio said the NYPD would intensify enforcement of judges’ orders barring contact between an accuser and the accused, as well as orders requiring a person arrested on domestic violence charges to stay out of a shared home.

Such orders are routinely issued at the first court appearance for the accused — they’re almost always automatic — and can last through the duration of the case.

“There are going to be more and more abusers arrested,” de Blasio said.

A team of detectives, domestic violence specialty officers, housing officers and neighborhood cops will conduct “joint DV-operations targeting our top DV offenders,” said NYPD Deputy Chief Martin Morales, who oversees the domestic violence unit, using a common abbreviation for the crime.

“We’re going to be targeting our top offenders — top offenders that not only violate orders of protection, top offenders that we’re looking for for other type of assaults or felonies and misdemeanors against their intimate partners,” Morales said.

De Blasio also said that effective immediately, lawyers stationed in city facilities in every borough will help accusers and their families get an arrested person off a lease, transfer it to the accuser, and help an alleged victim of domestic violence end a lease early if the accuser wants to move without penalty.

“There are going to be more and more abusers who find that they stare down the barrel of a lawyer who will stop them from having possession of their home if they’ve abused someone,” de Blasio said.


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