Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave Policy (VESSA)
Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave
Employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence as defined by Missouri law, or have a family or household member who is a victim of such violence, may take unpaid leave from work to: (1) seek medical attention for, or recover from, physical or psychological injuries caused by the violence; (2) obtain services from a victim services organization; (3) obtain psychological or other counseling; (4) participate in safety planning, relocating, or taking other actions to enhance safety or economic security; or (5) seek legal assistance or remedies in response to the violence.
Qualifying employees may take up to two workweeks of domestic or sexual violence leave in a 12-month period, provided that the amount of leave does not exceed that available to the employee under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule. Employees on leave may be required to report periodically on their status and intention to return to work.
Employees must provide at least 48 hours’ advance notice of the need for leave, unless such notice is not practicable. Employees may be required to provide certification that they or their family or household member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence and that the leave is for a purpose specified in this policy. This certification requirement may be satisfied by providing a sworn statement from the employee and (1) documentation from a victim services organization, attorney, clergy member, or medical or other professional from whom the employee or their family or household member has sought assistance in addressing the violence, (2) a police or court record, or (3) other corroborating evidence. Such information and the fact that the employee requested leave will be kept confidential.
A qualifying employee may also request reasonable safety accommodations to the known limitations resulting from them or their family or household member being a victim of domestic or sexual violence. Employees may be required to provide certification that the requested accommodation is for a purpose specified in this policy.
Added October 2021