Domestic violence leave

This spring, the Florida legislature required that businesses of a certain size (including USF) accommodate short leave requests of employees who have been the victims of domestic violence.  Here is the information from USF:

USF employees are eligible to take up to 3 days of leave (prorated, based on employee’s FTE) in a 12-month period if they (or a member of their household) are a victim of domestic violence.

 New Florida law effective July 1, 2007 requires employers in Florida who employ 50 or more employees, to provide this leave.  Florida is one of only a few states that require leave to protect victims of domestic violence.  Colorado, Illinois, and North Carolina have similar laws.  The USF Human Resources Department is responsible for the administration of this leave entitlement. 

Leave may be taken for specific activities including:

  • seeking an injunction for protection against domestic violence or repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence;
  • obtaining medical care or mental health counseling or both for the employee or a family or household member to address injuries resulting from domestic violence;
  • obtaining services from victims services organizations such as a domestic violence shelter or rape crisis center; 
  • making the employee’s home secure from the perpetrator of domestic violence or finding a new home to escape the perpetrator;
  • seeking legal assistance to address issues arising from domestic violence or attending or preparing for court related proceedings arising from the act of domestic violence.

The employee must provide advanced notice of the leave to their employer except in cases of imminent danger to the health or safety of the employee or their family member.  

The employee is required to use accrued leave first.  In the event that the employee does not have sufficient leave to cover the event, the domestic violence leave will be unpaid.

Employees who wish to request leave for domestic violence on the Tampa Campus should call Employee Relations at (813) 974-5708.  An appointment can be made by phone and walk-in appointments may be accommodated on a limited basis in SVC 2172 by asking for an Employee Relations consultant.  

Employees working at USF-Lakeland, USF-Health, USF-Sarasota/Manatee or USF-St. Petersburg should contact their local Human Resource Department for assistance and consultation.

The employer is required to keep all information relating to leave for domestic violence confidential, and may not take any disciplinary action against an employee related to the use of domestic violence leave. 

Given the nature of this leave, any and all documentation used in the request or substantiation of the leave must be routed directly to Human Resources.  Do not retain a copy of any sustentative documentation in your department.  For employees working on the Tampa campus, route information to Mail Stop SVC 2172 and to the attention of Employee Relations (Compliance).  For employees working at USF-Lakeland, USF-Health, USF-Sarasota/Manatee or USF-St. Petersburg, route or hand deliver documentation to your local Human Resource Department.  Efforts will be made to maintain this information as confidential to the extent permissible by law. 

The full leave procedure may be found on the HR website here.

For more information contact Rob Liddell, HR Employee Relations, at (813) 974-5396.


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