How many times have we wanted to care for our ailing pets but were unable to because of work? Unfortunately, many workplaces don’t recognize pet care as a legitimate reason to give paid time off.
But one Italian dog owner may be paving a way forward after she won her appeal against her employer – she had requested paid time off to care for her sick dog, however, the employer had recorded the time missed as vacation time.
The woman, Anna, needed a few days off work in order to care for her sick English Setter named Cucciolo. Cucciolo is her family, so Anna called her employers of the Sapienza University in Rome, requesting a few days in order to look after him.
Anna spoke to the Turin newspaper, La Stampa, and said, “I had asked for the paid allowance, honestly explaining what I needed it for – namely to care for my sick dog. I later realized that they had counted those days as a holiday and I got angry as a matter of principle. My dogs are my family.”
As the New York Times reported, Anna lives alone and needed the time off work in order to bring Cucciolo to the vets for surgery. Needing help, she reached out to Lega Anti Vivisezione (LAV), an animal advocacy group, and together they came up with a case she could present to her employers.
LAV made the argument that had she not dealt with her dog’s health issues, she could have faced legal action for animal mistreatment and abandonment under the strict Italian laws.
The University listened and agreed to grant Anna paid leave. LAV is thrilled by this ground-breaking decision as it has opened up the conversation for hopefully more companies in the future to grant their employees compassionate leave in regards to their pets.
LAV wrote to their Facebook, “Animals are part of our family, and to take care of them, apart from being our duty, must be our right!”
Il suo cane stava molto male e aveva bisogno di un intervento medico veterinario urgente.Lei, dipendente pubblica e…
Gianluca Felicetti, the group’s chairman, stated, “Now, with the due medical and veterinarian certifications, all those who find themselves in the same situation will be able to cite this important precedent. Another significant step forward that considers animals not kept for profit or production, but to all intents and purposes as members of the family.”
There are some companies that have started to give certain benefits to employees with pets, like time off it they adopted a shelter dog, or time off in the event of a pet passing away.
Personally, I think these are all necessary steps forward in the right direction. What do you guys think? Based on Anna’s story, do you think employers should start granting similar benefits to their employees with pets? Let us know!