A new statute requires Missouri employers with at least 20 employees to provide unpaid leave to workers when they, or a family member, are victims of domestic violence. The mandate took effect Aug. 28, 2021.
Amount of Leave
Employers with 20-49 employees must allow one workweek of unpaid leave per 12-month period. Employers with at least 50 employees must provide two workweeks of leave every 12 months. Leave may be intermittent or on a reduced schedule.
Reasons for Leave
In general, leave may be taken for the following reasons when the employee or their family member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence:
- To seek medical attention for physical or psychological injuries;
- To obtain services from a victim services organization;
- To obtain psychological or other counseling;
- To participate in safety planning, relocate or take other actions to increase safety or economic security; or
- To seek legal assistance or remedies, including preparing for or participating in civil or criminal proceedings.
Notice and Certification
Employer notice obligations apply, beginning Oct. 27, 2021. When practicable, employees must provide 48 hours’ advance notice of leave. Employers may require certification in the form of documentation from specified professionals, a police or court record, or other corroborating evidence, with the employee’s sworn statement. Employers must maintain the confidentiality of information.
The leave is job-protected, and health benefits must be continued during leave.
Employers may require employees on leave to report periodically on their status and whether they intend to return.
Total Leave Entitlement
The law specifies that it does not create a right to take more unpaid leave than allowed under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. © 2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.