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Missouri Victims Economic Safety and Security Act

August 30, 2021

Missouri’s passed a Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA), which requires employers, private and public, to provide leave and reasonable safety accommodations to employees who experience domestic or sexual violence.

Effective on Aug. 28, 2021, Missouri’s passed a Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA), which requires employers, private and public, with at least 20 employees to provide leave and reasonable safety accommodations to employees who experience domestic or sexual violence. 

Leave Requirements 

The amount of VESSA leave available to eligible employees will depend on the size of their employer. 

  • Employers with 1-19 employees: no leave requirements
  • Employers with 20-49 employees: one week of unpaid leave per year
  • Employers with more than 50 employees: two weeks of unpaid leave per year

Qualifying Reasons 

Employees can take VESSA leave for one or more of the qualifying reasons listed below:

  • seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic or sexual violence against the employee or the employee’s family or household member; 
  • obtaining victim services for the employee or the employee’s family or household member; 
  • obtaining psychological or other counseling for the employee or the employee’s family or household member; 
  • participating in safety planning, including temporary or permanent relocation, or other actions to increase the employee or the employee’s family or household member’s safety from future domestic or sexual violence; and seeking legal assistance to ensure the health and safety of the employee or the employee’s family or household member, including participating in court proceedings related to the violence. 

Note: Family member is defined as; a spouse, parents, children, and other blood relatives and relatives through a present or prior marriage. 

Accommodation Requirements 

Under this Act, employers are required to make reasonable safety accommodation unless the accommodation would result in undue hardship to the business/employer. The request for accommodation must be made by the employee in a timely manner and must include a written statement signed by the employee or someone acting on the employees behalf. 

Notice and Documentation 

Employers can require notice and documentation from employees who wish to take VESSA leave. Employees must provide at least 48 hours’ advance notice of the need for leave unless such notice is not possible, in which case the notice must be given as soon as possible; and a sworn statement of the employee and documentation showing that the employee is eligible for the leave, such as a police report or document from a victim services organization, or medical professional corroborating eligibility. 

Next Steps 

Employers should review their policies and procedures and make any necessary changes to support this new requirement.  Please contact your Account Manager if you wish to have the unpaid leave setup for your employee population. 

Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax and HCM partner. This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.