Woman Earns Sick Pay While Caring For Her Ill Dog in Landmark Italian Case

We know our pets are family members, right? And, when they are sick, we take care of them. Just like a human family member, that care often means we have to reschedule things, work included.

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Which is exactly what an Italian woman did when her 12-year-old English Settler Cucciola needed her to help it recover after surgery. The unnamed woman is a librarian at La Sapienza University in Rome, and with the help of lawyers from Italy’s Anti-Vivisection League, she won the right to sick pay for the two days she took off.

The judge in the case said that the university should consider her days off as being needed for ‘serious or family personal reasons,’ and the woman’s lawyers said that according to Italian law, people who abandon animals when gravely suffering can be jailed or fined up to €10,000 (nearly $12k U.S.).

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Gianluca Felicetti is the president of the LAV, a non-profit animal advocacy group, and says that the court finally is recognizing that animals are members of families. He believes that this ruling will now make it easier for others who need to take care of their sick pets to also claim personal sick days for doing so. More and more countries are incorporating care for new pets as part of employee benefit packages, and some are even allowing bereavement pay to apply when a family pet passes away.

This is the first ruling of this type in Italian courts.


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