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Louisville’s Paid Leave for Violence Survivors

A highlight of the City’s Campaign to End Gender-Based Violence was the passage of a local ordinance providing paid leave to victims of violence and crime who are Louisville Metro Government employees. The ordinance works to aid victims of domestic violence who fear losing their jobs or leaving relationships due to financial dependency and was expanded to support victims of other crimes prevalent in the city, such as gun violence and other forms of abuse. Metro Council Ordinance 053-2022 took effect on April 29, 2022.

The ordinance allows victims of domestic violence and other crimes to take up to seven days paid leave per year. Notably, it allows the employee to take leave for themselves or a family member in the household who can also be the primary victim. This is especially important for employees who have children or other members of their household involved in a crime. For example, a mother can take paid leave to support their child who was a victim of gun violence.

This leave is confidential and can be used broadly. Survivors who use the benefit can attend a therapy session, seek medical attention, or find legal aid for the crime suffered for themselves or another member of their primary household.

The City of Louisville plans to conduct research two years following the implementation of the new leave policy better to understand the needs and experiences of their employee and to provide evidence supporting the importance of Paid Leave for victims of crimes.

In addition to the ordinance, the city implemented an awareness campaign to educate employees on how to detect situations of violence and access resources to aid survivors. The campaign also helps support local organizations seeking state and federal grants to build capacity for violence prevention with a focus on serving organizations representing traditionally underserved/marginalized communities. 

The City’s goal is to encourage a more equitable workplace and awareness centered around survivors, emphasizing to perpetrators that the workplace stands behind the survivor and their experience.

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