Senator Robach Spearheads Legislation Increasing Protections To Victims Of Domestic Violence

Joseph E. Robach

March 22, 2007

Senator Robach announced the passage of legislation that would make it unlawful for an employer or licensing agency to discriminate against victims of domestic violence in hiring or employment practices. This bill is intended to protect the economic viability of these victims and to support their efforts to gain independence from their abusers.

"In order to help victims of domestic violence, it is imperative to break the cycle of abuse," stated Senator Robach. He continued, "This is nearly impossible if victims cannot find or keep employment and a way to maintain independence. This legislation would help ensure their jobs by making it illegal for employers to discriminate against abuse victims."

Many individuals stay with their abuser because they lack alternative financial resources for themselves and their children. Escaping an abusive relationship often depends on financial independence, which means finding and keeping a job. It is not unusual for victims to need time away from work to confer with an attorney or domestic violence counselor, appear in court, seek medical attention, arrange for alternative housing or recuperate from injuries. Unfortunately, it is also not unusual for a victim of domestic violence to be terminated from a job or demoted because they need time off or flexible hours as a protective measure. This bill would make it unlawful for an employer or licensing agency to discriminate against these individuals.

Senator Robach added, "I call on both the Assembly and the Governor to join the Senate in passing this legislation. Its enactment would be a milestone in the lives of many individuals affected by domestic violence."

The bill has been sent to the Assembly and is pending in its Committee on Governmental Operations.