Paid leave for domestic violence victims under consideration at Lexington City Hall

Originally published by WEKU.

Lexington city leaders are considering expanding the paid leave policy for urban county government workers. The proposal got Council committee approval Tuesday.

If adopted, classified civil service employees would be eligible to take up to 56 hours of paid leave per calendar year, if they are the victim of domestic violence or other crime. Stephanie Theakston, in social services, said the time off could be used to seek medical attention or recover from a physical or psychological injury.

“They may use this time to obtain services from victim services organizations or to obtain counseling or other treatment for themselves or their children,” said Theakston.

Theakston said the hope would be for the government to lead by example. She said she doesn’t believe such a policy is widely adopted in the local private sector.

Council Member Liz Sheehan said hopefully private sector employers would adopt similar policies.

“To help ensure that being a victim of a crime does not threaten someone’s employment status or financial security. Taking care of our employees as they navigate doctors’ appointments and legal hearings, mental health appointments, and so on is simply the right thing to do,” said Sheehan.

Taking part in the expanded paid leave would not require an emergency protective order or police report. The determination would be made through the City’s Human Resources Department. The maximum allowable time would be 240 hours, with unpaid leave beyond the initial 56 hours. The proposal now goes to the full Council.

** WEKU is working hard to be a leading source for public service, and fact-based journalism. Monthly supporters are the top funding source for this growing nonprofit news organization. Please join others in your community who support WEKU by making your donation.

Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.