Missouri Now Provides for Leave and Accommodations to Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence

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Following the enactment of the Victims’ Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA), Missouri joins over 30 states requiring employers to provide protections to employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence in the form of leave and accommodations. 

Missouri employers with 50 or more employees must provide up to two weeks of unpaid leave (one week for 20-49 employees) for employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence or have a family or household member who is a victim of such violence.

Covered employers must also provide reasonable safety accommodations to eligible employees for “known limitations resulting from circumstances relating to being a victim of domestic or sexual violence or being a family or household member of a victim of domestic or sexual violence” unless the accommodation poses an undue hardship resulting from significant difficulty or expense.  Examples of defined accommodations include adjustments to job structure, modified scheduled, leave, safety procedures, and assistance in documenting domestic violence that occurs at the workplace.   

Employers must also notify all current employees of their rights under VESSA by October 27, 2021 for all current employees and upon hire for all employees hired after October 27.  VESSA also prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees who seek benefits under the statute in their terms and conditions of employment.

Missouri employers should update their handbooks and policies, train supervisors and human resources on the law’s new protections, and ensure the required notifications are timely provided to employees.

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