The Missouri legislature recently enacted the Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA), aimed at providing job protection for employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence. Missouri employers with 20 or more employees must include a notice to new hires informing them of their rights under VESSA.
VESSA allows for unpaid leave, job protection and accommodations to employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence, and to employees who have a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence when the victim is
- seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries,
- obtaining services from a victim services organization,
- receiving psychological or other counseling,
- participating in safety planning or relocation efforts, or
- seeking legal assistance or remedies.
The amount of leave allowed varies by employee size. Employers with 1-19 employees have no leave entitlement. Those with 20-49 employees are entitled to one week of leave during any 12-month period, and those with 50 or more employees are entitled to two weeks of leave during any 12-month period.
Many states already have similar laws in place. A law ensuring job protection for sexual and domestic assault victims has been in place for Kansas employers since 2019.