Victims of domestic violence in New York City may be eligible for paid time off. If a new bill in the city is signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio, it will require employers to grant PTO to employees who have been affected by it or by “family offense matters” or sexual abuse, Jezebel reports.
The bill, which reportedly passed the City Council on Tuesday (Oct. 15), aims to extend paid time off for those who need to recover from abuse and seek “safe time.” The new initiative will allow victims enough time to access rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters or any other type of legal help without having to worry if their next paycheck is guaranteed or not.
It’s not clear as of yet whether de Blasio will sign the law into effect, but he does support the cause. During a press conference held last year, when the bill was first introduced, he stated the following: “No woman should have to decide between her safety and her paycheck,” according to The Huffington Post. “We need to make sure that work will be protected, not interrupted; that pay will be protected, not interrupted, while a woman pursues justice, while she takes care of things she needs to ensure her safety.”
Other cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh already provide their residents with PTO for employees who have endured domestic or sexual abuse.
“Oftentimes women would miss appointments with either a DA, or miss appointments at the police precinct, or, unfortunately in cases, had to go and serve orders of protection. They had to go themselves and weren’t able to do that because they weren’t able to take the time off work,” one of the bill’s main sponsors, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, explained in a recent press conference.