October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month - Learn about Safe Time
Domestic violence impacts us all. Including in the workplace.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
- About 130,000 victims of stalking in a 12- month period (from 2005 to 2006) reported that they were fired or asked to leave their jobs because of stalking.
- A 2005 study found that women experiencing violence with a physically intimate partner reported an average of 7.2 days of work-related lost productivity.
The Seattle Office of Labor Standards joins others in commemorating this month by raising awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence and the resources available to survivors. Specifically, we want to call attention to the important protections the City of Seattle has enacted into law for victims of domestic violence and stalking.
Under Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSST), workers accrue paid hours to use as sick time AND safe time.
PSST means more than just “sick time.” PSST’s Safe Time provisions provide critical protection for workers who need to take paid time off from work for safety and health reasons.
What qualifies under safe time?
- Safe Time: Seattle workers can use PSST for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Under most employers, employees accrue 1 hour of PSST for every 40 hours worked.
Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking can use accrued PSST hours for activities such as:
- Medical and psychological counseling.
- Relocation and other safety planning.
- Seeking a restraining order.
- Participating in a legal proceeding.
“Domestic violence affects our families, friends, co-workers, and communities. It is the leading cause of injury to women, and men can also be victims,” said Dylan Orr, Director of the Office of Labor Standards. “This month is an opportunity to raise awareness about domestic violence prevention and the workplace protections that exist in Seattle for individuals, families and communities impacted by domestic violence.”
To recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
Together we can help ensure that Seattle workers know the important health and safety protections that PSST provides, and that employers understand their responsibility to provide them.