Paid Leave Oregon, the new state program that helps employees get more hours of paid time off, has already made some changes. Specifically, five new features were updated on the program’s website — including a tool that helps domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors.
It’s an escape button.
“It’s usually on the top right hand side of websites that are affiliated with domestic violence survivors to seek help,” assistant executive director for Saving Grace Trish Meyer said. “It’s a really important tool because, for many survivors, it’s the critical and most dangerous time for them to be accessing resources.”
RELATED: Paid Leave Oregon begins Jan 1: How it will affect your paycheck
The button is aimed at domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors. If they click it, it quickly erases any trace that they were even logged onto the web page.
“It allows them to push the exit button. It takes them to a generic page, like a Google search page, and it erases the browser history,” Director of Paid leave Oregon Karen Humelbaugh said. “If someone is looking over them or see what they’re doing, they’re able to access that ‘leave type’ for us, but also escape in the moment if they need to.”
Paid Leave Oregon provides three “leave types” on its website: medical leave, family leave and safe leave.
For anyone who may be in a dangerous situation, the user would navigate to the “safe leave” tab on the website, find the information they need to notify their employer and click on the red exit button in the top right hand corner. The button navigates the user to a whole new page.
So why would this website be a place that abuse survivors might go to? Meyer says the Paid Leave Oregon is an important process for survivors to escape their situation.
“For many, in some years past, survivors who are trying to flee their situation and needing to take time away from work, may have been terminated for that reason. Now there is more protection for survivors,” Meyer said.
Meyer says, for survivors who are trying to leave their situation, it is imperative to keep their cybersecurity in mind, as it is common for abusers to scour devices trying to track their movements and intentions.