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Senate bill to allow leave for abuse victims

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would allow victims of domestic violence to take up to 15 days of leave from their jobs without facing penalties from their employers.

The measure, which also covers victims of sexual assault and stalking, would require companies to grant leave — paid or unpaid — to employees who need time to seek counseling, medical attention, legal advice or new housing.

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Workers seeking leave would generally be required to provide at least five days notice to their employers, but exceptions would be made in cases where immediate danger existed.

Companies could require some documentation of abuse, such as a restraining order, police report or findings from a doctor.

The bill passed the Senate 34-0 on Thursday. It now goes to the House.

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