CONTACT YOUR CONGRESS CRITTER NOW: How VAWA Can Make It Easier for Women to Leave Their Abusers
A federal law to protect all victims from employment discrimination was introduced in March, but it hasn’t even been referred to committee or scheduled for a vote. (text from link is also below-FNB)
Troubles don’t end for women once they’re fired for their abuse, however. Eighteen states ensure that these women can get unemployment benefits, but women in the remaining thirty-two may not even be able to tap that lifeline once they’re out of work, leaving them even more vulnerable. Ensuring that all women can get unemployment benefits if their abusers succeed in getting them fired would create the most basic baseline of support.
Housing is also a huge issue for victims of violence. As Monica McLaughlin of the National Network to End Domestic Violence told MSNBC’s Irin Carmon, “When we do our survey every year, we ask service providers, ‘What are survivors asking from you?’ And housing rises to the top every time.” Nearly 10,000 victims are turned away from services on a typical day, and more than 40 percent of those women are seeking emergency housing, while 18 percent need transitional housing. Twenty percent of homeless women say that domestic violence is the primary reason they don’t have housing.
There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.
Introduced in House (03/15/2013)
Security and Financial Empowerment Act - Authorizes appropriations for grants for the national resource center on workplace responses to assist victims of domestic and sexual violence for FY2014-FY2018. Establishes limits on the use of funds for administrative costs. Requires the center to provide information and assistance to enable victim service organizations to provide resource materials or other assistance to employers, labor organizations, or employees.
Amends the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to set forth entitlement standards and implementation guidelines for employee use of emergency leave to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking (domestic or sexual violence). Prohibits: (1) any employer from interfering with the exercise of any right provided under this Act; or (2) discrimination against any individual for exercising any such right, opposing any practice made unlawful by this Act, or instituting any proceeding under this Act. Establishes a private right of action to enforce this Act. Directs the Secretary of Labor to receive, investigate, and attempt to resolve complaints of violations of this Act. Permits victims of domestic or sexual violence to substitute existing leave in lieu of emergency leave.
Authorizes state use of funds under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) (TANF) to provide nonrecurrent short-term emergency benefits for victims of domestic or sexual violence on emergency leave.
Adds provisions to VAWA, entitled the Victims’ Employment Sustainability Act, to prohibit certain discriminatory practices against victims of domestic or sexual violence by: (1) employers with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment; or (2) public agencies with respect to the terms or conditions of public assistance. Authorizes civil actions by individuals or the Attorney General to enforce such provisions.
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit denial of unemployment compensation to individuals separated from employment due to their experience of domestic or sexual violence.
Amends the Social Security Act to require training of unemployment compensation and TANF personnel to provide necessary services to victims of domestic or sexual violence. Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award a grant to a national victim services organization to develop and disseminate a model training program.
Victims of Abuse Insurance Protection Act - Prohibits denial or restriction of insurance coverage (including termination of health insurance coverage) or addition of a premium differential based on the status of the applicant or insured as a victim of abuse by a household or family member, intimate partner, or caretaker. Provides for enforcement of such prohibitions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and by a private cause of action.