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Peduto Orders Paid ‘Safe’ Leave For City Employees Facing Domestic Violence

Kathleen Davis
90.5 WESA
Mayor Bill Peduto (right) introduced paid safe leave with Susan Frietsche (center), senior staff attorney at the Women's Law Project, and Shirl Regan, president and CEO of Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Hundreds of Pittsburgh’s city employees will be eligible to take paid "safe" leave starting July 3.

Under an executive order announced by Mayor Bill Peduto on Tuesday, the policy aims to accommodate workers who face intimate partner violence and need to find safe housing, file Protection from Abuse orders and obtain necessary care.


The directive notes that many must take time off work to meet these needs.

Janet Manuel, director of the Pittsburgh Department of Human Resources and Civil Service, said paid safe leave reflects the city’s sensitivity to this reality. The measure will directly affect about 1,500 non-unionized city employees, she said.

Peduto said the city will ask union leaders to adopt similar provisions in the next round of collective bargaining, and that he hopes private-sector employers and other cities will follow Pittsburgh's model.

At least eight states and several cities and counties have similar paid or unpaid safe time policies, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.

Peduto said specific rules and procedures for implementing the idea are still to come, but will be crafted by a committee of community leaders and city staff.

An-Li Herring is a reporter for 90.5 WESA, with a focus on economic policy, local government, and the courts. She previously interned for NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg in Washington, DC, and the investigations team at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A Pittsburgh native, An-Li completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and earned her law degree from Stanford University. She can be reached at aherring@wesa.fm.
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