Friday, June 21, 2013

Getting Fired For Being Abused

Last week, Carie Charlesworth, a teacher in California and a victim of domestic violence, was fired from her job because her abusive husband invaded the school parking lot and put the school on lockdown. While her abuser was sent to prison, she was also punished for his crime by losing her employment. 
The school’s action -– firing her because she is a victim of domestic abuse –- is sadly legal in most states. Just six, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island, have laws on the books that bar employment discrimination against victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault, according to an up-to-date document tracking these laws from Legal Momentum. State Senators in California introduced a non-discrimination bill in February, which has been referred to committee.
The loss of a job thanks to abuse can end up cutting off a lifeline to end that abuse. Three-quarters of women report staying with their abuser longer because of economic reasons. “We know that economic abuse is frequent in these situations, and abusers often try to get the victim fired in order to increase her financial dependency on him,” Kim Gandy, president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, told ThinkProgress. By showing up at a partner’s workplace, in many states an abuser can put her job at risk, potentially driving her back into his arms.

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