Doggone-it. Must employers give leave to employees with hurt pets?

Thumbnail image for sleepingdog.jpegWorst. Pun. Ever.

In some states, employees who become victims of domestic violence, or whose family members are victims of domestic violence, are entitled to take a short unpaid leave from work. In one state, companies need to be aware of possible legislation that would require them to afford time off to employees whose pets are victims of violence or threats of violence.

Find out which state — you have a 1 in 50 chance — after the jump…

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In Florida, an employer must permit an employee to request and take up to 3 working days of leave from work in any 12-month period if the employee or a family or household member of an employee is the victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence means “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

The Greenberg Traurig L&E Blog reports that the future bill would expand the definition of domestic violence to include physical harm and threats against man’s best friend:

The bill would revise the existing Florida domestic violence statute by amending the definition of “domestic violence” to include “inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury against a [pet], … or placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm to a [pet].”

According to this report from Peter Linton-Smith of Fox 13 in Tampa, about 70% of domestic violence victims report that that the abuser either inflicted pain, killed or threatened to kill their household pet. New Port Richey Senator Mike Fasano plans to introduce the bill next year.

The chances of the success don’t appear to be too great. The same bill to protect pets was introduced last year. However, no one in the Florida House co-sponsored it.

Pictured: Eric Meyer and Yao Ming Meyer.

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