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Special Collection: Employment and Domestic Violence

This special collection includes a carefully selected set of articles, fact sheets, guides, laws, regulations, reports and surveys related to this important intersection of domestic violence and employment. It is offered as an additional tool to assist advocates working on and interested supporting survivors of domestic violence in the employment arena, and to assist those interested in employment issues related to ending violence against women. In addition to resources on domestic violence and the workplace, included in this collection are key resources related to employment issues affecting all women in the workforce. Direct links to the documents are provided from this page. Contact the NRCDV with your comments and content suggestions.

Table of Contents:

 

Updated December 2015


Research on Domestic Violence and the Workplace | Back to top

Domestic violence can jeopardize a survivor’s ability to keep a job, typically either because of the need for time off to attend court or to receive medical care, or due to the abuser’s interference in the survivor’s ability to conduct her daily life by preventing her from going to work, harassing her at work, limiting access to money and transportation, or manipulating child-care arrangements. Survivors are therefore more likely than other women to be unemployed, to suffer from health problems that can affect employability and job performance, to report lower personal income, and to rely on public benefits (Legal Momentum, 2015). Resources listed below focus on statistics, studies, laws and information on employer responses to domestic violence in the workplace.

Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center
The “Workplaces Respond” Resource Center offers information for the benefit of those interested in providing effective workplace responses to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking. Through innovative partnerships between companies, worker associations and unions, and anti-violence advocates and service providers, Workplaces Respond helps increase the safety and economic security of vulnerable survivors.

  • Workplace Toolkit | HTML HTML
    by Futures Without Violence (2015)
    With only a few small steps, workplaces can help keep everyone safe and productive. Use the resources in this toolkit to help raise awareness, address employment issues and connect people in your workplace to the assistance they may need.
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  • Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Workplace | PDF PDF (20 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (2014)
    This fact sheet includes information on the impact of domestic and sexual violence on the workplace, why workplace protections are necessary, how the law protects victims, paid family leave, and domestic violence and unemployment insurance.
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  • State Law Guide: Employment Rights for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence | PDF PDF (30 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (Updated Regularly)
    This guide provides descriptions of state/local laws and legislative proposals explicitly covering employer prohibitions related to treatment of DV survivors in certain circumstances. Live links are provided to the alphabetized laws and bills.
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  • Research, Reports and Studies Compilation | PDF PDF (9 p.)
    by Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center (2013)
    This document compiles notable research, reports and studies addressing: the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence and stalking; the costs and economic impact of these forms of violence; the workplace impact of these forms of violence; perpetrators’ impact on the workplace; workplace violence and workplace violence risk assessment/response.
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“Domestic violence can follow victims to work, spilling over into the workplace when a victim is harassed, receives threatening phone calls, is absent because of injuries or is less productive due to extreme stress. Domestic violence is a serious, recognizable and preventable problem, similar to other workplace health and safety issues that affect businesses and their bottom lines (The Facts on the Workplace and Domestic Violence, Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center, 2011).”

For more facts on domestic violence and the workplace and related topics, please visit Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center.

  • Effects of Domestic Violence on the Workplace: A Vermont survey of male offenders enrolled in batterer intervention programs | PDF PDF (45 p.)
    by Michele Cranwell Schmidt & Autumn Barnett for the Vermont Council on Domestic Violence (January 2012)
    This report informs policy makers and employers about the way Vermont workplaces are affected by domestic violence. It provides important information to help employers make decisions about policy and procedural responses to employees involved in domestic violence.
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  • State Law Guide: Workplace Restraining Orders | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (Updated Regularly)
    This guide covers state laws and legislative proposals affecting an employer’s ability to seek restraining orders for employees in situations involving domestic violence.
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  • Guide for Advocates: Addressing the Impact of Domestic and Sexual Violence, Stalking and Dating Violence on the Workplace | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center
    This guide includes information for advocates on how best to assist victims with workplace issues, how to educate employers, how to educate attorneys, and how best to educate the community.
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  • Intimate Partner Violence, Employment, and the Workplace | PDF PDF (26 p.)
    by J. Swanberg, T. Logan, and C. Macke, Vol. 6, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 286-212 (October 2005)
    This article contains a literature review on violence against women and employment. It includes information on types of job interference tactics by perpetrators, employer responses and attitudes, consequences for employers, and survivor responses.
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  • Addressing Domestic Violence as a Barrier to Work: Building Collaborations between Domestic Violence Service Providers and Employment Services Agencies | PDF PDF (31 p.)
    by L. McKean, Center for Impact Research (October 2004)
    This report summarizes lessons learned from a collaborative project of domestic violence agencies and employment services agencies in Houston, Chicago, and Seattle. The report describes and recommends practices including collaboration, training, and screening/referral.
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  • Employment Law and Domestic Violence: A Practitioner’s Guide | PDF PDF (22 p.)
    by Julie Goldscheid & Robin Runge for the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence (2009)
    This guide is for attorneys working in a range of settings, including those representing employees and employers in the public and private sectors, those representing unions, and those representing victims of domestic violence.
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The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the costs and consequences of partner violence at work - and eliminating it altogether. From policies and programs to legal issues and legislation, CAEPV is a credible source for information, materials and advice.

  • Seven Reasons Employers Should Address Domestic Violence | HTML HTML
    by Futures Without Violence
    This fact sheet makes a case through statistics and information for why employers should prioritize addressing domestic violence.
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Workplace Policies | Back to top

Domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking are workplace issues and impact the workplace even if the incidents occur elsewhere. Workplace policies can provide clear guidelines on how employers will prevent and address these dangerous and damaging forms of violence in the workplace (Futures Without Violence, n.d.). The following resources include model policies and tips on addressing the issue of domestic and sexual violence, and information on workplace policies already in existence.

  • Model Workplace Policy On Employer Responses to Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking | PDF PDF (9 p.)
    by The Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center (Updated November 2014)
    This model policy outlines guidelines for workplace responses to victims/survivors of violence and perpetrators of violence. An employer can adopt a workplace policy as part of its commitment to a healthy, safe organizational climate and to the prevention and reduction of the incidence and effects of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking.
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  • This Workplace is a DV-Free Zone: Creating a Policy That Successfully Addresses DV in the Workplace | HTML HTML
    by Jelena Kolic and Penny Venetis for Legal Momentum (April 2015)
    The webinar reviews the importance of having a policy that addresses situations where the employee is either a victim or a perpetrator of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, or stalking; principles that inform an effective policy; and features of Legal Momentum’s model policy.
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  • Guidance for Agency-Specific Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Policies | PDF PDF (37 p.)
    by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (February 2013)
    This guidance provides agencies with direction to enable them to fulfill the goals identified in the Presidential Memorandum on “Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce,” which was issued on April 18, 2012.
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  • State Law Guide: Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Policies | PDF PDF (13 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (Updated Regularly)
    This guide tracks legislation or government initiatives requiring or encouraging public and/or private employers to adopt domestic and sexual violence policies.
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  • How to Support a Colleague Victim of Domestic or Sexual Violence | HTML HTML
    [2:12] by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (November 2014)
    This video is part of the "See the Signs, Speak Out" series on starting conversations in the workplace about domestic and sexual violence.
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  • 10 Principles for the Workplace | PDF PDF (1 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (2015)
    These 10 principles were developed by a national coalition of employer, labor, and government organizations and define a set of standards to guide workplace responses to domestic violence. The principles describe the attributes of a compassionate and comprehensive workplace response to domestic violence.
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  • Domestic and Sexual Violence, Stalking and Dating Violence in the Workplace: A Guide for Supervisors | PDF PDF ( p.)
    by Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center
    This guide advises supervisors on how to handle situations where a supervisor believes an employee is a victim of domestic violence, as well as where he or she believes an employee is a perpetrator of domestic violence, and what to do when one employee has a protection order against another.
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  • Create Your Policy | HTML HTML
    by Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center (2015)
    This tool, available on the “Workplaces Respond” website, will help employers create a workplace policy by guiding employers through a series of questions, offering a choice of model language based on a promising practice (which has the most protective language for employees) or, if applicable, language based on the law in the specific state or locality.
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Federal Laws and Regulations | Back to top

The following resources include the text of federal laws affecting the workplace, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Civil Rights Act of 1991; and the Workforce Investment Act. Please note: Information on the Family Medical Leave Act is included in the section entitled “Employment Leave.”

  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2009)
    This brochure describes the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which overturned the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc., 550 U.S. 618 (2007), which severely restricted the time period for filing complaints of employment discrimination concerning compensation. The brochure also describes the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions.
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  • 42 U.S.C. ß2000e et seq, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    The following is the text of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as it appears in the United States Code. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The Civil Rights Act of 1991and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 amend several sections of Title VII.
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  • 29 U.S.C. ß206(d) et seq, The Equal Pay Act of 1963 | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    The following is the text of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) as it appears in the United States Code. The EPA, which is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and which is administered and enforced by the EEOC, prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions.
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  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    The following is the text of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) as it appears in the United States Code. The ADEA prohibits employment discrimination against persons 40 years of age or older.
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  • 42 U.S.C. ß12101 et seq, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Titles I and V | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    The following is the text of Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Title I of the ADA, which became effective for employers with 25 or more employees on July 26, 1992, prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Since July 26, 1994, Title I has applied to employers with 15 or more employees. Title V contains miscellaneous provisions, which apply to EEOC's enforcement of Title I.
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  • 29 U.S.C. ß791 et seq, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 501 and 505 | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    The following is the text of Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as these sections will appear in the United States Code. Section 501 prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the federal sector. Section 505 contains provisions governing remedies and attorney's fees under Section 501. Relevant definitions that apply to sections 501 and 505 follow these sections.
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  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    The purpose of this act was to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to strengthen and improve Federal civil rights laws, to provide for damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination, to clarify provisions regarding disparate impact actions, and for other purposes.
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  • The Workforce Investment Act: The Law and its Implications for Battered Women and Their Advocates | PDF PDF (12 p.) HTML HTML
    by Robin Hammeal-Urban, Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (October 2000)
    This paper provides basic information about the WIA and how it can provide battered women and others with job training and related services so they can get jobs that pay enough to live on. The paper discusses key implementation issues to survivors.
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Data & Statistics on Employment | Back to top

Items listed below focus on data and statistics regarding employment, beyond domestic violence. Specifically, resources cover the gender wage gap and fair pay, the impact of a lack of paid leave policies, and how the wage gap affects specific populations. Those interested in data on domestic violence and the workplace may want to review material listed above under Research on Domestic Violence and the Workplace.

  • The Gender Wage Gap: 2014 | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (September 2015)
    This fact sheet shows that the ratio of women's to men's median weekly earnings for full-time workers was 78.6 in 2014, making the gender wage gap for full-time/year-round workers 21.4 percent. .
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  • Women’s Economic Status in the States: Wide Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Region | PDF PDF (44 p.)
    by A. Caiazza, A. Shar, and M. Werschkul, Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2004)

    This report looks at women’s economic status across several indicators: women’s earnings, gender wage ratio, percentage of women in managerial/professional occupations, women’s business ownership, and poverty rates. State profiles are available. .
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  • The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price We All Pay Without Paid Leave Policies to Support America’s 21st Century Working Families | PDF PDF (50 p.)
    by the U.S. Department of Labor (September 2015)
    This report details the state of paid leave; associated costs to workers, families, businesses, and the nation; and recommendations for further research into the issue of paid leave.
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  • The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by Ariane Hegewisch, Claudia Williams, and Vanessa Harbin for the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) (April 2012)
    This analysis shows that women earn less than men in (almost) all of the most common occupations for men and women are more than twice as likely as men to work in occupations with poverty wages. The analysis further discusses the occupational gender wage gap by race and ethnicity.
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  • 50 Years and Counting: The Unfinished Business of Achieving Fair Pay | PDF PDF (34 p.)
    by the National Women’s Law Center (2013)
    This report shines a light on federal and state policies that can help close the wage gap. It identifies the remaining barriers to achieving fair pay for women and concrete steps that can be taken by federal and state policymakers to ensure that women and their families are not struggling indefinitely to make do with less.
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  • African American Women and the Wage Gap | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by the National Partnership for Women and Families (March 2015)
    This fact sheet evidences that even in states with large populations of employed African American women, rampant wage disparities persist – with potentially devastating consequences for African American women and their families.
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  • Facts About Immigrant Workers | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by the National Immigration Law Center (April 2007)
    This document provides employment-related data on immigrants, including workforce, growth, LEP, wages, and training information.
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  • For an Economy that Works for All: A tool kit for advocates for low-wage workers (Part two: Advocacy) | PDF PDF (64 p.)
    by Douglas Gould & Co., Inc. (2005)
    This tool kit includes data on low-wage workers, fact sheets on work and child poverty, reports on public perceptions of poor people and the economy, suggested messages, descriptions of framing, and a guide for journalists on how to talk about low-wage work.
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  • Latinas and the Wage Gap | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by the National Partnership for Women and Families (March 2015)
    This fact sheet details the wage gap for Latinas by state, describes the implications of the wage gap for Latinas, and presents statistics on the public’s overwhelming support for fair pay policies.
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Employment Background Checks | Back to top

Some employers look into a potential employee’s background before deciding whether to hire the individual, or before deciding whether that individual can keep his or her job. When they do, the potential employee/employee has legal rights. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces a federal law that regulates background reports for employment, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws against employment discrimination (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n.d.). The resources below are designed to help survivors of domestic violence, as well as jobseekers in general, understand what may be asked during a background check and their rights during the process.

  • Criminal Records and Employment Rights: A Tool for Survivors of Domestic Violence | PDF PDF (10 p.)
    by Erika Sussman for the Center for Survivor Agency and Justice (October 2013)
    This publication is designed to 1) help survivors with a criminal record to better understand their employment rights, and 2) offer tips and resources as survivors prepare for the job application and interview process, attend job interviews, and hear back from the prospective employer.
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  • Fact Sheet 16: Employment Background Checks | HTML HTML
    by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (Revised December 2015)
    This document is a primer on employer background checks for jobseekers, including why they might be conducted and how they might be conducted. Special attention is paid to rights and remedies under the FCRA.
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  • Job Applicant Credit Check Laws: Tips for Job Applicants and Employees | PDF PDF (10 p.)
    by the Federal Trade Commission (November 2014)
    This webpage addresses information such as what questions may be asked about your background; use of background reports; what to do if the employer finds something negative in your background; and where to go for help.
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Employment Discrimination | Back to top

Federal and state laws to protect employees against employment decisions based on certain unfair criteria first passed in the 1960s. At the federal level, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 forbids sex-based wage discrimination against men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects qualified individuals age 40 and older against age discrimination. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 forbids private sector discrimination against qualified individuals based on disability. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 enhances employment protections set by earlier laws and authorizes compensatory and punitive damages in cases of intentional illegal discrimination (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2004).

  • Employment Discrimination Against Abused Women | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (2005)
    This document provides Q&A explaining legal definitions of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful discharge. Action steps involving possible legal remedies are briefly outlined.
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  • State Employment-Related Discrimination Statutes | PDF PDF (17 p.)
    by the National Conference of State Legislatures (July 2015)
    This matrix lists for each state: the employment discrimination statute; covered employees; factors on which employment discrimination is prohibited; compensatory damages; punitive damages; attorney fees; and other relief.
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  • Women at Work: Looking Behind the Numbers | HTML HTML
    by the National Partnership for Women & Families (July 2004)
    This report provides historical background about sex discrimination law under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It includes statistics on women in the workplace as well as EEOC data on various forms of discrimination from FY1992 to FY2003.
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  • Know Your Rights on Your Job: Workplace Discrimination Overview | PDF PDF (12 p.)
    by National Council of La Raza (2005)
    This document, in Q&A format, provides basic information on hiring discrimination, workplace safety, health care, language rights, wages and hours, joining a labor union and law enforcement actions.
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  • Questions and Answers: The Application of Title VII and the ADA to Applicants or Employees Who Experience Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (2012)
    The examples provided in this publication illustrate how Title VII and the ADA may apply to employment situations involving applicants and employees who experience domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
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The Family and Medical Leave Act | Back to top

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees who work for covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Eligible employees may take up to 12 work weeks of leave during any 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons and up to 26 work weeks of leave during a single 12-month period for military caregiver leave (U.S. Department of Labor, n.d.). Items listed below include articles, guides, and reports focused on federal and state leave protections for needs connected to domestic violence as well as for medical and other reasons unrelated to domestic violence.

  • State Family and Medical Leave Laws | HTML HTML
    by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Labor Project for Working Families (December 2014)
    This matrix includes an alphabetical listing of state laws on family and medical leave. It identifies qualifying employers and the covered type of leave.
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  • The Family and Medical Leave Act at 22: 200 Million Reasons to Celebrate and Move Forward | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by the National Partnership for Women and Families (February 2015)
    This report recognizes the achievements of the Family and Medical Leave Act, while addressing a number of gaps that still exist in the law. It also calls for public policy solutions to strengthen and improve the FMLA and address family and work needs.
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“Since 1993, [the FMLA] has been used more than 200 million times by women and men who needed to be able to care for their own health or the health of their families (The Family and Medical Leave Act at 22: 200 Million Reasons to Celebrate and Move Forward, National Partnership for Women and Families, 2012).”

  • Fact Sheet 28: The Family and Medical Leave Act | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division (2012)
    This fact sheet describes the basics of FMLA including employer coverage, employee eligibility, leave entitlement, maintenance of health benefits, job restoration, notice and certification, unlawful acts, and enforcement.
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  • Fact Sheet 28A: Employee Protections Under the Family and Medical Leave Act | PDF PDF (3 p.)
    by U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division (September 2012)
    This fact sheet describes the protections the FMLA affords to employees while taking FMLA leave and upon returning to work from FMLA leave.
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  • Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act | PDF PDF (1 p.)
    by the Department of Labor (Revised February 2013)
    This poster describes basic leave entitlement; military family leave entitlements; benefits and protections; eligibility requirements; definition of serious health condition; use of leave; substitute of paid leave for unpaid leave; employee responsibilities; employer responsibilities; unlawful acts by employers; and enforcement.
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Living Wage and Minimum Wage | Back to top

A living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet his or her basic needs, while federal and state minimum wages are the minimum rates that all covered employers must pay all workers. They generally apply to most employers, with the state minimum wage applying to those who work in that state. When the federal and state minimum wage rates are different, the employee must be paid the higher of the two rates (Society for Human Resource Management, 2012). The federal minimum wage, first established in 1938 under the Fair Labor Standards Act, is currently $7.25/hour. This amount went into effect on July 24, 2009. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have wage rates higher than the federal minimum wage, as do a large number of cities. The resources included below detail laws on the living and minimum wages, as well as reports and guidance pieces on the impacts of both.

  • Minimum Wage Laws in the States | HTML HTML
    by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division (Updated January 2015)
    This website provides data on the minimum wage in every state in the US, via an interactive map.
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  • State Minimum Wages | HTML HTML
    by the National Conference of State Legislatures (2015)
    This table lists those 17 states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage. State wage amounts are also provided.
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  • Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act | PDF PDF (24 p.)
    by the U.S. Department of Labor (2014)
    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. This reference guide includes a section on basic wage standards, beginning on page five (labeled in the guide as page one).
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  • City Minimum Wage Laws: Recent Trends and Economic Evidence | PDF PDF (7 p.)
    by the National Employment Law Project (Updated September 2015)
    This fact sheet provides an overview of recent trends in local minimum wage laws, paying particular attention to how businesses have adjusted to local wage increases over time. Evidence indicates that local minimum wages have proven to be effective tools for raising pay and improving job quality without reducing employment or encouraging businesses to leave cities.
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Unemployment | Back to top

Currently in the U.S., the unemployment rate is over five percent (U.S. Department of Labor, 2015). Unemployment affects the lives of survivors of domestic violence in a number of ways. For example, one study found that “stress” and “job loss” (61% and 49%, respectively) were frequently cited as causing an increase in domestic violence victims seeking shelter (National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2010). According to Legal Momentum, “violence often jeopardizes victims’ ability to keep a job, whether because of the need for time off for court appearances or medical attention, or abusers’ active interference or sabotage….Accordingly, female victims are more likely than other women to be unemployed, to suffer from health problems that can affect employability and job performance, to report lower personal income, and to rely on welfare” (Legal Momentum, n.d.). The following resources are comprised of information on how to obtain unemployment insurance that can prove vital for survivors.

  • Introduction to Unemployment Insurance | PDF PDF (10 p.)
    by Chad Stone and William Chen for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (July 2014)
    This analysis explains: the structure and goals of the unemployment insurance system; who is eligible for unemployment insurance; what kind of benefits are available; what additional benefits are available during economic downturns; how unemployment insurance is funded and current solvency issues; and how unemployment insurance affects the economy.
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  • ARRA: Extending the Unemployment Insurance Safety Net to Victims of Domestic Violence | PDF PDF (5 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (Updated July 2011)
    This document explains the provisions in the federal stimulus legislation (the ARRA) that provide monetary incentives for states to allow access to unemployment insurance for victims who leave jobs due to the violence or are fired because of the violence.
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  • Tips for Domestic Violence Victims Seeking Unemployment Benefits | PDF PDF (3 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (2005)
    This document provides Q&A explaining unemployment benefits, discussing eligibility in circumstances involving dv, and describing the application process for benefits.
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  • State Law Guide: Unemployment Insurance Benefits | PDF PDF (11 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (Updated Regularly)
    This guide provides brief language of state laws and legislative proposals explicitly covering unemployment insurance eligibility in situations involving domestic violence. Live links are provided to the alphabetized laws and bills from the document.
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  • Know Your Rights: Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by Legal Momentum (Updated 2005)
    This document provides Q&A explaining unemployment benefits, discussing eligibility in circumstances involving dv, and describing the application process for benefits.
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