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Councilman Matt Zone announces plan for 'safe leave' policy at Cleveland Women's March

Posted at 2:28 PM, Jan 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-18 20:06:31-05

CLEVELAND — At Saturday’s Women’s March in Cleveland, city councilman Matt Zone announced plans to introduce new legislation that would protect victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the workplace.

That new legislation is a “safe leave” policy.

Zone said he chose to announce those plans at the Women’s March because the vast majority of people who would benefit from such a policy are women.

Zone said he’s been working on the policy for the last five months.

The "safe leave" policy would protect the jobs of workers who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Zone said that as those victims navigate the criminal justice system, they often have to take off time from work. If their employer doesn’t offer sick time or paid time off those victims run the risk of being fired.

Cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis have already passed similar laws.

“The vast majority of individuals who would benefit from a safe leave policy are women, and when women are safe, we’re all safe. We want to make sure that our mothers and our sisters and our nieces are protected and so as a policy maker, I wanted to share that news with the hundreds of people who are here to let them know that city hall is thinking of them,” Zone said.

Zone said he and his community partners—including the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center—are still doing research, but they hope to introduce the legislation within the next 60 days.