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Prop. 206 Allows Victims To Take Paid Sick Leave To Address Domestic Violence

Published: Friday, December 2, 2016 - 5:31pm
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When Arizonans passed Proposition 206 on Election Day, they voted to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. But, a lesser-known provision of the ballot initiative will also allow domestic-violence victims to take paid sick leave to deal with the violence. 

Prop. 206 allows full-time employees to take up to five paid sick days a year, and allows workers to take time off for medical care, to take care of a family member, for a public health emergency, or to address domestic violence.

Even though some employees might not feel comfortable telling their bosses they need to take time off because they’re a survivor of domestic violence, this provision still sends an important message to employees, according to Shannon Rich, director of Public Policy at the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

“Having these policies will let survivors know that their employer, this is an issue that’s important to them,” she said.

Those dealing with abuse can use the paid sick time to attend court hearings, cooperate with law enforcement or participate in counseling, Rich said.

It also helps workplaces to come up with appropriate policies to deal with domestic and sexual violence.

There’s a lot that workplaces can do to respond to domestic and sexual violence, according to Rich, including creating best practices and organizational policies on how to respond to victims.

She recommended employers take a look at the sample policies laid out by the National Resource Center’s Workplace Toolkit.

According to Rich, it’s rare for a state to have regulations that outline sick time policies specifically aimed at domestic violence. In most instances, cities have passed regulations, she said.

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