Got questions about your legal rights? The Vermont Commission on Women's handbook, The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont might provide answers. Chapters include: Adoption, Guardianship and Emancipated Minors; Consumer Protection and Fair Credit; Domestic Relations; Education; Employment Rights; Housing and Property Rights; Immigration; Insurance; Name Changes; Public Accommodations; Public Assistance and Government Benefits; Reproductive Rights; Violence Against Women and Children; and Wills, Probate Court, and Advanced Directives.
These VCW publications, one written for employers and one for workers. outline rights and responsibilities under current equal pay laws, how to handle suspected pay discrimination, wage disclosure laws, pregnant worker’s rights, lactation accommodations, anti-retaliation protection, and information concerning family and medical leave.
Important Workplace Laws Vermont Workers Should Know (PDF, 167 KB)
Important Workplace Laws Vermont Employers Should Know (PDF, 196 KB)
Equal Pay Brochure For Employers and Workers (PDF, 57KB)
VT Guide to Parental and Family Leave booklet. UPDATE: In June of 2012, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that annual and sick leave accruals are not employee benefits. Therefore, your employer is not required to accrue vacation and sick leave hours for the unpaid hours that you take off for either short-term or long-term family or parental leave. However your employer may continue to allow you to accrue vacation and sick time during either short or long term leave. (PDF File, 5 MB)
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, A Guide for Employers and Employees booklet (PDF file, 674 KB)
Vermont Law Help Website
Website with free legal information, forms, and links to legal and other help created and maintained by Legal Services Law Line of Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid. Organized into the following categories:
- Disaster Relief
- Immigration & Citizenship
- Money and Debt
- Public Benefits
- Small Claims
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Vermont Chapter
137 Elm St.
Montpelier, VT 05602
The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont (ACLU) is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the nation's foremost advocate of freedom, liberty and equality -- litigating, legislating, and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting civil liberties in the United States. ACLU-Vermont is the state affiliate, working to protect the constitutional rights of all Vermonters.
Attorney General’s Office
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001
(802) 828-3171 / (802) 828-3665 (TTY)
The Attorney General is the law firm for the Vermont state government. When the State is sued, the AG’s Office defends the case in court. The AG’s office also enforces state laws.
Civil Rights Division of the Vermont Attorney General's Office
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001
(802) 828-3657 / (888) 745-9195 / (802) 828-3665 (TTY)
The Civil Rights Unit is responsible for enforcing state laws which prohibit discrimination in employment. These include laws which prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, place of birth, age, handicap, HIV status, or for asserting a claim to worker's compensation, and laws which prohibit retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination. The Civil Rights Unit also enforces the laws related to employment-related drug testing, and polygraph (lie detector) testing, and the state laws which relate to parental and family leave. This office does not have jurisdiction over claims of discrimination in public accommodations (for example, denial of access to or discrimination by businesses, public groups and meetings, and the like) and housing. Does not accept claims of employment discrimination against the State of Vermont. These matters are handled by the Vermont Human Rights Commission.
Fair Housing Project, a program of Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity
294 North Winooski Ave.
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 660-3456 / (802) 864-3334 ext. 202
The Fair Housing Project works to protect and expand the fair housing legal rights of classes of people traditionally subjected to housing discrimination and exclusion. As part of that mission they work to assure that the state and municipalities are actively “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” so as to expand inclusiveness of housing opportunities in Vermont. The FHP works with partners to eradicate illegal housing discrimination in Vermont. They may be able to help you through information and referral services, fair housing education, training, workshops and outreach.
Have Justice, Will Travel
9580 VT Route 113
Vershire, VT 05079
(802) 685-7809 / (877) 496-8100
The mission of Have Justice - Will Travel (HJWT) is to bring an end to the generational cycle of abuse in rural families by bridging the legal, cultural, geographical, psychological and economic gaps that exist for victims of domestic violence. HJWT provides free legal and supportive services for battered, low-income women and their children, and provides transportation for them to and from court.
Judicial Conduct Board
P.O. Box 189
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819-0189
The Judicial Conduct Board investigates complaints of judicial misconduct or disability and recommends any necessary action to the Vermont Supreme Court. Possible disciplinary actions include public reprimand of the judge, suspension for a part or the remainder of the judge's term of office, or retirement of the judge if physically or mentally disabled. The Court does not impeach judges. Only the General Assembly has the power to impeach. The Supreme Court appoints the nine members of the board, and designates the chair and vice-chair. Three members are lawyers, three members are lay citizens and three members are judges.
Juvenile Defender’s Office
6 Baldwin Street, 4th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05633-3301
The Juvenile Defender’s Office primarily provides ongoing post-dispositional representation to children and youth who are in the custody of the Department for Families and Children and were represented in original Family Court proceedings by a public defender. It provides representation for these clients at DCF caseplan review meetings, administrative hearings at the Woodside Detention Center and at certain administrative appeal hearings and judicial hearings. The staff advocates for these children in a wide variety of situations. The supervising attorney in the office also sits on several committees and councils focused on juvenile justice and family services and monitors proposed legislation related to these issues. The office also acts as a resource center for public defenders regarding juvenile law and resources for juvenile clients and their families.
Office of Child Support of the Vermont Department for Children and Families
280 State Dr.
Waterbury, VT 05671-1060
The Vermont Office of Child Support (OCS) is the state agency responsible for establishing, collecting upon, enforcing, and modifying support orders for children who do not live with both parents. OCS can help establish parentage, establish an order for child and medical support, modify an order for child and medical support, make support payments to the custodial parent, enforce an existing order for child and medical support, and locate a missing non-custodial parent.
Pride Center of Vermont Legal Clinic
255 South Champlain St. #12
Burlington, VT 05401
The Pride Center of Vermont (PCVT) Legal Clinic provides one time legal advice about your rights and responsibilities, advice on your options for dealing with legal issues, and information about how the legal system works so you know what to expect. Legal issues addressed at the clinic include name/gender marker changes, landlord/tenant and real estate; second parent adoption; known sperm donor contracts; divorce/dissolution; parental rights and responsibilities (custody) modifications; relief from abuse petitions; and estate planning. The Legal Clinic is open on the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Prisoners' Rights Office at the Office of the Defender General
6 Baldwin Street, 4th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05633-3301
The Prisoners’ Rights Office addresses a wide range of issues that deal with the fact, length and conditions of confinement and community supervision for people serving sentences. These include post-conviction relief criminal appeals, furlough, parole, and supervised community sentence eligibility and violations, health care, prison discipline and sentence calculation.
Public Defender’s Office
Burlington - (802) 863-6323
Middlebury - (802) 388-4656
Montpelier - (802) 828-3168
The Public Defender’s Office provides constitutionally required representation to needy persons charged with serious crimes. It also gives counsel to children who are who are the subject of juvenile proceedings as alleged delinquents, parties in juvenile proceedings including children in need of care and supervision, and to persons in the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections.
South Royalton Legal Clinic at the Vermont Law School
PO Box 117
South Royalton, VT 05068
The Clinic (SRLC) serves Vermont residents (*representation is statewide for immigration cases; other representation is limited to Orange, Windsor and, by court appointment only, Washington Counties) who are unable to afford counsel and who need assistance with issues such as bankruptcy, children’s rights, domestic violence, housing, family-based immigration, family law, landlord/tenant, social security disability, wills and veterans issues. Working under state and federal student practice rules, Vermont Law School student clinicians and work-study students help to represent clients in court and administrative hearings. The clinic has trained many of the leading legal service providers in Vermont.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Boston Area Office
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
(800) 669-4000 / (800) 669-6820 (TTY)
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces a number of federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination. These laws make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
The laws enforced by the EEOC also prohibit retaliation against a person who files a charge of employment discrimination, assists in an investigation, aids in the enforcement of the laws, or opposes discrimination prohibited by the laws. Most employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.
Vermont Agency of Education
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641
The Vermont Agency of Education is a statewide resource regarding all aspects of education including home schooling, safe schools, special education, English as a second language and many other important education-related topics.
Laws and Regulations
Vermont Agency of Education's webpage featuring updated state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to education in Vermont schools.
Vermont Agency of Education's webpage featuring model policies.
Vermont Association for Justice
1 Main Street Suite 305
P.O. Box 1366
Burlington, VT 05402-1366
The re-named Vermont Association for Justice (VTAJ) is a dynamic organization designed to assist its members in growing professionally by offering networking, information sharing and education that contribute to practice growth, thus increasing every member’s level of professional success. VTAJ continues to sponsor, support or oppose legislation to best serve the administration of justice and the cause of advocacy. Operates an on-line referral service - click on Find A Lawyer menu option.
Vermont Bar Association
P.O. Box 100
Montpelier, VT 05601-0100
Vermont Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service
Refers callers to attorneys in appropriate concentration. First 1/2 hour consultations are $25.00 or less.
Vermont Center for Independent Living
11 East State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
(800) 639-1522 (voice/TTY)
VCIL is a resource on the issue of pregnancy in the workplace since women are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They have ADA and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) resources to share. Provides peer advocacy counseling which includes one-on-one support. By working with peer counselors, individuals with disabilities learn how to do their own problem solving and enhance their ability to advocate themselves. Through the Center, programs and resources such as Meals on Wheels, and the Home Access Program are available by contacting any office for information.
VCIL is a New England ADA Center State Affiliate. Call (800) 949-4232 (voice/TTY) /
(617) 695-0085(v oice/TTY) or go to newenglandada.org with questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
P.O. Box 82
601 Main Street
Bennington, VT 05201
(802) 447-0574 (voice / TTY)
(802) 681-9096 (Videophone)
28 Vernon St., Suite 317
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 264-0328 (TTY)
(802) 275-0099 (Videophone)
7 Kilburn St., Suite 312
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 861-2896 (voice)
(802) 881-0138 (videophone)
85 Portland St.
Morrisville, VT 05661
(802) 888-2180 (voice)
60 Center St., Suite 1
Rutland, VT 05701
Vermont Human Rights Commission
14-16 Baldwin Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-6301
(802) 828-1625 / 800-416-2010
The Vermont Human Rights Commission enforces civil rights laws that protect people from discrimination in housing, state government employment, and in places of public accommodation such as restaurants, stores, and schools. The Commission investigates discrimination claims, helps parties resolve disputes, and takes legal action in the courts when necessary. In addition, the Commission conducts workshops on civil rights issues and provides information and referral services. Finally, the Commission furnishes research and testimony about the potential impact of civil rights bills under consideration by the state Legislature.
Vermont Legal Aid, Inc.
Vermont Legal Aid (VLA) is a non-profit law firm established in 1968 to provide free civil legal services to Vermonters who are low-income, elderly and those with disabilities. VLA serves the community by providing information, advice and representation in the areas of health care, housing, education, family law, benefits, and consumer law. They do not handle criminal cases. Common examples of needs they can help with:
- Court appearances or legal advice
- Problems with housing or landlords
- Domestic violence
- Public assistance, long-term care, Medicaid, or health care issues
- Disability, special education, or guardianship issues
- Discrimination or individual rights issues
264 North Winooski Avenue
Burlington, VT 05402
7 Court Street
Montpelier, VT 05601
57 North Main Street, Suite 2
Rutland, VT 05701
56 Main Street, Suite 301
Springfield, VT 05156
177 Western Ave., Suite 1
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
Vermont Legal Aid Projects:
Poverty Law Project represents low-income Vermonters with civil legal problems in the areas of housing, family law, consumer law, employment, and problems with government benefits programs.
Disability Law Project represents Vermonters with physical and developmental disabilities where their legal problem arises from their disability. Cases include guardianship, special education, discrimination in employment and housing, access to health care, and Social Security Disability-related benefits problems.
Elder Law Project has two sections, the Senior Citizens Law Project which represents people over 60 years of age in general civil legal matters including housing, Medicare and guardianship; and The Medicare Advocacy Project that represents clients in Medicare appeals.
Health Care Advocate Project provides advocacy on problems involving health care and health insurance. Case types include access to health care, billing, eligibility and insurance plan coverage issues.
Housing Discrimination provides help, advice and limited legal services to people who believe they may have been discriminated against.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Project represents individuals who receive long term care services in nursing homes, residential care homes, assisted living residences, or in their own homes through the Choices for Care Program. Issues addressed include quality of care, quality of life, and residents' rights.
Mental Health Law Project represents clients facing involuntary commitment and or involuntary medication proceedings.
Vermont Parent Representation Center, Inc.
PO Box 4087
Burlington, Vermont 05406
An interdisciplinary team of an attorney, a social worker, and a peer navigator (a parent who has direct experience with child protective and foster care systems) represents parents at risk of experiencing the removal of their children into state custody and foster care or kin-care. A Family Intervention Team (FIT) works with the custodial parent to address issues that threaten the children's safety to prevent a petition from being filed in court (Family and Probate). VPRC is a not-for-profit public interest law and policy organization. VPRC’s goals include: To reduce the number of children removed from their families into state and other out-of-home custody; to shorten the length of stay in state and other out-of-home custody for children who have been removed, and to reduce the number of children re-entering state and other out-of-home custody after being reunified with their families.
Vermont Professional Responsibility Board
32 Cherry St., Ste 213
Burlington VT 05401
To report possible attorney misconduct.
Vermont State Police
Vermont State Police Headquarters
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
The Vermont State Police is a full-service law enforcement agency that provides primary law enforcement services to approximately 200 towns, 90 percent of the land mass, and 50 percent of the population in Vermont. Handles hate crimes and other criminal violations of the law.
Williston: (802) 878-6611
St. Albans: (802) 524-2166
Middlesex: (802) 229-9191
St. Johnsbury: (802) 748-2314
Derby: (802) 334-8881
Bradford: (802) 222-4680
Rutland: (802) 773-1816
Middlebury: (802) 388-3191
Shaftsbury: (802) 442-5421
Rockingham: (802) 722-4600
Brattleboro: (802) 257-7950
Royalton: (802) 763-7776
Vermont State Police Internal Affairs Unit
Complaints or compliments about Vermont State Police officers may be filed on-line, via email or via verbal or written communication with any Station Commander of the Vermont State Police. This office reflects the Vermont State Police’s continuing commitment to the importance of fair and impartial policing.
Community Justice Network of Vermont
PO Box 1539
Montpelier, VT 05601
The Community Justice Network of Vermont (CNVT) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit membership organization whose members share a belief in the importance and efficacy of restorative responses to conflict and crime as an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution, punishment, and retribution. Its mission is to broaden and strengthen Vermont’s restorative practices through leadership, advocacy, education, and partnerships.
In 1998, the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) initiated partnerships with municipalities to develop community justice centers (CJCs) to deliver restorative justice to and with communities. There are now 20 community justice centers in Vermont, and the CJNVT serves as a place where CJC members — organizations or individuals — can share ideas, promote best practices, and support communities as they create restorative, inclusive solutions to the problems of conflict and crime.
National & International Resources
Amnesty International is the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization. The organization focuses on exposing and investigating abuse and educating the public with the goal of creating a safer world.
Futures Without Violence
Futures Without Violence works to prevent and end violence against women and children worldwide. Emphasis is on training professionals such as doctors, nurses, athletic coaches, and judges on improving responses to violence and abuse.
OutRight Action International
The IGLHRC is the leading international organization dedicated to advocating on the behalf of people who experience abuse or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The Department of Homeland Security works to defend the United States against various threats. The nearly 230,000 employees ensure border and aviation safety, emergency response, and many other duties.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
The purpose of the U.S. Department of Justice is to enforce the law and legally defend the interests of the United States. It protects the public from domestic and foreign threats, provides leadership for controlling crime, and seeks just punishment for those found guilty of criminal behavior.
U.S. Department of State
The mission of the U.S. Department of State is to advance freedom for the American people and international community through helping to create a more democratic world that promote the rights of their people.
Child Support in Vermont: A Handbook for Parents. Vermont’s Office of Child Support produced this informative handbook covering most aspects of child and medical support in Vermont. It includes chapters on establishing parentage, establishing support, modifying support, paying support, enforcing support orders, and getting support while receiving public assistance.
Find informational pamphlets on these topics about divorce in Vermont at the Family Division of the Vermont Judiciary's website:
Divorce in Vermont
Civil Union dissolution
Glossary of court terms
How to fill out the paperwork required to start a divorce
Serving the divorce papers
How decisions are made in the divorce
Do you need a lawyer?
I need a lawyer, how do I find one?
You want to represent yourself: What are your responsibilities?
How the Courts divide the property of divorce
How to fill out the 813 financial affidavt of income and assets
How do we divide our pension plan?
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
Debts and divorce
Mechanics of divorce for parents with minor children
Mechanics of divorce for litigants without minor children
The Effects of Divorce on Children
Parental Rights and Responsibilities
Parent and Child Contact
Divorcing Someone in the Military
Child Support Changes during Military Deployment
Custody Changes during Military Deployment
How to get along in the courtroom
Motions and petitions
Preparing an answer and preparing a counterclaim to complaint
Temporary Relief Pamphlet
The uncontested final hearing
Enforcement of the divorce orders
Modification of court orders
Enforcement of the child support order
Modification of child support order
Immigration & Human Trafficking
ACLU Immigrants Rights Project
Founded in 1987, the Immigrants Rights Project works to expand and enforce the civil liberties and civil rights of non-citizens. The IRP has been at the forefront of nearly every major legal effort on behalf of immigrants’ rights including law reform litigation, legal advocacy, and judicial rulings.
American Immigration Council
Established in 1987, the American Immigration Council seeks to shape how Americans think about immigration and honor immigrant history. The council also works to achieve fairness and justice for immigrants under the law.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
1331 G Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
This national association is comprised of over 11,000 attorneys and law professors who practice
and teach immigration law. AILA Member attorneys represent U.S. families seeking permanent
resident for family members , U.S. businesses seeking talent from the world arena , and more. Their mission is to advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Established in 1999 and housed at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, the CGRS works to impact the development of law and policy in order to protect women fleeing gender-based violence.
Give Way to Freedom
Give Way to Freedom: Give Way to Freedom provides support and care services to victims of human trafficking. An emphasis is placed on educating the public about dangers of human trafficking.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)
(888 ) 373-7888
As a part of the Polaris project the NHTRC provides general information, resources, referrals, and training concerning human trafficking. It also operates a victim-focused national, toll-free hotline.
National Immigration Project (of the National Lawyers Guild)
The National Immigration Project is a non-profit that provides technical and legal support for legal practitioners, immigrant communities, and advocates seeking to advance the rights of non-citizens. Emphasis is placed on battered women, HIV/AIDS, children, and non-citizen criminal defenders.
South Royalton Legal Clinic's Vermont Immigrant Assistance (VIA) Project at Vermont Law School
VIA provides free legal services to immigrants in intricate cases, including domestic violence, asylum seekers, and refugees.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
(800) 375-5283 / (800) 767-1833 (TYY)
This government agency supervises lawful immigration to the United States. It grants immigration and citizenship benefits, promotes awareness and understanding of citizenship, and supports immigrants’ integration into American society.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE)
(866) 347-2423 / (802) 872-6196 (TTY)
This government agency serves as the main investigative branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE's primary mission is to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.
The Vermont Human Trafficking Taskforce
Established in 2010, the taskforce is a statewide collaboration of local, state and federal law enforcement, advocates, victims' service providers, immigration lawyers, State's Attorney's representatives, health professionals, and agricultural representatives. The Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services has lead this effort and houses the website.
Vermont's Human Trafficking Crisis Response Protocol
Vermont Human Trafficking Taskforce created this document to provide instructions and information for anyone in Vermont that may have contact with potential victims of sex or labor trafficking. This would be Vermonters working in law enforcement, medicine, social services, education and clergy, but also neighbors, friends and concerned citizens. The protocol addresses how to report labor trafficking or sex trafficking, who to report it to, what to expect from the agency responding, as well as services available to victims, and information for helping international victims of human trafficking.
Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (USCRI Vermont)
462 Hegeman Ave, Suite 101
Colchester, VT 05446
Established in 1980, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP) has worked bring opportunities to the lives of immigrants through defending human rights, promoting self-sufficiency, and developing community partnerships. The VRRP also has an award-winning volunteer program and provides Interpreting services.