Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has implemented new policies in her office to ensure domestic violence is a covered leave category under existing workplace protections. Galloway said the policy change is designed to ensure her internal office policy protects employees.
"No one should be forced to choose between escaping a domestic violence situation and their livelihood. If an employee is forced to leave home to be safe, we want to ensure that they don't have to worry about losing their job, which could worsen conditions and make them more likely to be victimized in the future," Auditor Galloway said. "I encourage all offices in state government to evaluate their own leave policies and ensure they would apply to situations where employees could be away from work due to a domestic violence incident."
The domestic violence workplace protection policy allows employees to use their accumulated paid sick leave, or draw from the office's shared paid annual leave pool in order to take paid time off specifically due to a domestic violence-related cause. The policy also allows employees to take unpaid leave when other leave options have been exhausted.
Federal law protects employee job security when taking time off work due to medical reasons either for themselves or for their families. The law does not guarantee the same rights to those who need to take time off because of a domestic violence-related incident. Auditor Galloway's policy change adds domestic violence to the established and accepted list of conditions for using time off for employees of the State Auditor's Office, and guarantees they can return to work even if they exhaust their paid leave while away.