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Domestic Violence and the Workplace

Domestic violence can reach beyond the home and into the workplace. Although a victim may leave the home and go to a shelter or change her or his address, the abuser usually knows where the victim works. Not only do abusers harass their partners at work, domestic violence can lead to missed days of work because of injuries or court appearances. Federal and state legislation has recently been amended so that victims of domestic violence are not penalized by employers for missed work.

At the Federal level, Labor Law Section 593 (1) states that when a victim of domestic violence voluntarily terminates his or her job, he or she is eligible for unemployment benefits. The Penal Law, Section 215.14, passed in 1996, makes it a crime to penalize an employee who has been a victim or a witness to a criminal offense and who must attend court. Fur-ther, both state and federal guidelines mandate that employers maintain a safe work environment.

Inside Domestic Violence and the Workplace