The latest trend in benefits law: mandatory leave for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.
Last month, Philadelphia passed a citywide ordinance requiring companies to accommodate employees who need time off due to sexual assault and domestic violence.
The law applies to all employers. At companies with 50 or more workers, employees can take up to eight weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. Companies with fewer than 50 employees must provide four weeks of unpaid leave.
Victims can take leave to:
- seek medical attention
- attend counseling
- take actions to prevent future abuse (such as changing residence), and
- seek legal assistance.
When victims take leave for a reason that also allows them to take FMLA, both leaves can run concurrently.
A growing number of cities and states have similar laws on the books, including Washington, Florida, Kansas, and Washington, D.C.
A federal bill granting domestic and sexual abuse victims 30 days of leave was introduced in the Senate last year.