Bills would help domestic violence survivors

Capital News Service
LANSING — Survivors of domestic violence would be given increased protections in the workplace and greater support when they try to leave abusers under bills being considered by the state House and Senate. The employment bills are part of a package aimed at protecting domestic violence and sexual assault victims in several realms, including increasing confidentiality requirements and promoting updated sexual assault policies and training on college campuses. “No one should ever have to decide between going to the police or keeping a job,” said Rep. Winnie Brinks, a Grand Rapids Democrat, during a press conference. “No one should have to choose between bringing their children to a domestic violence shelter or losing a day of pay.”

One bill would require employers that offer sick time to allow employees to use that time to deal with issues resulting from abuse, such as getting a medical exam, speaking with police officers and prosecutors, moving to a shelter or keeping therapy appointments. The other bill would ensure individuals aren’t disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits as a consequence of being a victim of domestic violence, rape or stalking.