On August 28, 2021, Missouri Governor, Mike Parson signed the Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA). Under this new law, Missouri businesses with 20 or more employees are now required to provide leave and reasonable safety accommodations to employees experiencing domestic or sexual violence.
Employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence, or have a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, may take unpaid leave to address the issues in several ways. The leave may be taken to seek medical attention, or recover from both physical or psychological injuries caused by the violence. An employee may use the leave to obtain services from victims services from appropriate organizations or to get counseling. The leave may also be taken for relocations or to see legal counseling.
The amount of leave allowed is determined by the size of the employer. Businesses with 20 to 49 employees must allow 1 week per year of leave while businesses with 50 or more employees must allow 2 weeks of leave. The employee should provide the employer with at least 48 hours notice unless this is not practical.
Employers are required to notify employees of their VESSA rights by October 27, 2021 and a notice must be posted, summarizing employee VESSA rights. The employer may require the employee to provide certification to the employer that the employee or the employee's family or household member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence and that the leave is for one of the listed reasons.