Legislation and Policies on Domestic Violence and its Effects on the World of Work

Legislation and policies on domestic violence and its effects on the world of work – Argentina, France, Italy, the Philippines, Spain, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States are among the nations that have passed laws and policies to address employees who are victims of domestic abuse. While some countries have special laws addressing the impacts of domestic violence on the workplace, others incorporate it in gender equality, labor, or occupational safety and health legislation.

Good practices contained in legislation on the impact of domestic violence on work include the following provisions:

Recognize that domestic violence is a workplace issue and that employees have the right to assistance and protection in the workplace;

Discrimination or retribution against workers who have been victims of domestic violence is prohibited;

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Domestic violence leave, either paid or unpaid;

Establishment of job stability, particularly following paid or unpaid absence; Provision of workplace support services for victims;

Establishment of employers’ responsibilities to protect workers’ safety in the workplace and when they return after a period of leave.

In most nations, court-issued protection or restraining orders encompass the workplace directly or implicitly. However, they are not always correctly implemented. The safety of women employees depends on a legal framework for enforcing protection orders. In the United States, ten states have approved legislation allowing employers to seek workplace restraining orders to protect their employees from assault, harassment, and stalking (Legal Momentum and The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, 2015). It’s worth noting that when an employer seeks such measures, it should do so in collaboration with and with the victims’ approval. Furthermore, promising examples may be discovered in Germany and the EU by implementing a European protection order, which may be used in the workplace based on national legislation. Furthermore, protection orders may include protection against workplace stalking, which can occur due to marital abuse or be conducted by other players in the workplace, such as coworkers or clients, as in Italy.

National strategies, policies, and action plans are also necessary instruments for requiring governments and other stakeholders to fight against violence against women, including domestic abuse (UN Women, 2016a). Scotland (Scottish Government, 2014), Victoria (Australia) (Victoria Government, 2010), Tunisia (Government of Tunisia, 2009), and Spain (Government of Spain, 2013) are among the countries where the effects of domestic violence at work have been addressed in national strategies or action plans on violence against women. For example, the Spanish National Strategy for the Eradication of Violence Against Women (2013-2016) includes a wide range of workplace measures to combat violence against women, including disseminating information on the rights of working women who are victims of gender-based violence in collaboration with trade unions and employers’ associations. 10318/2016 is the law. Reglamento 1295/16 Córdoba is a provincial ordinance in the Argentine province of Co? rdoba that grants Provincial State employees renewable leave for gender abuse (in the home or at work) of up to 30 days per year (teachers, health workers, and workers in public administration). According to the French Labor Code, employees in France have the right to take time from work if they have been victims of gender-based violence. In addition, women now have the right to paid domestic abuse leave and compensation under the 2016 Jobs Act, which uses the same rights and structure as maternity leave.

Workers in the Philippines are entitled to up to ten days of paid leave under the General Labor Standards Act (Republic Act No. 9262) to respond to medical and legal matters.

Domestic violence leave and other services are provided by the Spanish Organic Law 1/2004 of December 28, 2004, on protection against domestic abuse.

On harassment and violence, see the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario (Canada), the Manitoba Employment Standards Code, the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Federal Government’s Occupational Safety and Health Regulations (2018).

Workers in New Zealand have the right to take ten days of domestic violence leave under the Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Act 2018.

In the United States, seventeen states have passed legislation requiring state employers to implement domestic violence policies or have produced model policies for private enterprises. Puerto Rico has gone even farther, mandating all companies to follow a domestic violence plan. Paid sick leave is permitted in some states, and federal employees are entitled to seven or more days of paid sick leave under the Federal Executive Order Establishing Sick Leave. Several states have passed laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against domestic violence victims, and forty-two states have updated their unemployment insurance laws to clarify that victims of domestic abuse are entitled to benefits. Widiss, D. A. (2008) Domestic Violence in the Workplace: The Explosion of State Legislation and the Need for a Comprehensive Strategy (Weiss, D. A., Weiss, D. A., Weiss, D. A., Weiss, D. A., Weiss, D. A., The Florida State University Law Review is 669 pages long. A protection order issued under the Violence Protection Act (GewSchG) 2002 might prevent the alleged offender from entering the victims’ workplace. In Italy, the criminal legislation Act No. 38 of April 23, 2009, established a new offense of “persecutory actions” (stalking) and sanctions, even where stalking occurs at work. Stalking at work can take the form of stalking by spouses and ex-partners, clients stalking employees, or, in rare cases, clients stalking other clients, as in residential care or mental health care settings. Excessive contact and abuse via emails, phone calls, and social media, as well as unwanted gifts and physical or sexual assault in the workplace, are all examples. According to a 2011 poll conducted in the United States, 5.1 million women and 2.4 million males had been stalked in the preceding year. Seventy-six percent of women murdered by an intimate partner were stalked beforehand, and 85 percent of women who survived attempted murder were stalked as well.


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