NDP Calls on Premier Wynne to Support Bill for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Kingston, June 2, 2016 – Peggy Sattler (London West MPP), the Ontario NDP critic for Women’s Issues, held a roundtable discussion in Kingston about her bill to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence by providing up to 10 days of paid leave.

“Many survivors of domestic and sexual violence can’t afford to take time off from work,” Sattler said. “After the trauma of the violence they experienced, they should not have to endure added stress about losing their jobs if they need time off to see a doctor, talk to police, meet with a rape crisis centre counsellor, or move to a safe place.”

Ontario’s lack of paid leave for victims was a common theme raised by groups and individuals testifying at the Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment.

Sattler’s Bill 177 would amend the Employment Standards Act to provide up to 10 days of paid leave, as well as flexible work arrangements and reasonable unpaid leave, to workers who have experienced domestic violence or sexual violence, or whose children have experienced those forms of violence. The leave can only be taken for specific purposes related to, or arising from, the violence, including seeking medical attention; accessing community-based supports; seeing a counsellor; relocating; or dealing with police, lawyers or the courts.

The bill also requires employers to provide mandatory workplace training about domestic violence and sexual violence.

“New Democrats are calling on Premier Wynne to support survivors of violence, and to take action to help women, children and families across the province by supporting this bill,” Sattler said.

“We are asking people in Kingston to contact the Premier and tell her to support survivors by supporting this bill. Kingston residents can also take action by signing our petition telling the Liberal government to provide employees who have experienced domestic violence or sexual violence with the work leave they need.”

Click here to download the petition calling for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to pass Bill 177 and Support Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence.