Protect Domestic Violence Victims from Employment Discrimination


Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Keep domestic violence victims safe from their abusers at work, and prevent them from losing their jobs because of workplace harassment from abusers

California recently voted to approve a bill that would ban workplace retaliation, including firing, against victims of domestic violence, and would require employers to provide accommodations that would increase workplace safety for victims. Urge California Governor Jerry Brown to support this measure.

According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, 74 percent of “employed battered women” were harassed by their abusers while at work. Employers are not currently required to offer protection for employees who are victims of domestic violence in California. Senate Bill 400 would bar firing people because they are victims of domestic violence and require that employers make “reasonable accommodations” to provide safety for victims, such as moving desks or changing workplace phone numbers.

Carolyn Charlesworth, a second-grade teacher in San Diego, California, was fired after her estranged husband came onto campus, forcing a lockdown. Though he was sent to jail, Charlesworth lost her job, and her four children were not permitted to continue to attend the private school. The school cited safety issues to justify the termination.

Charlesworth testified before the California committee that voted to approve the bill, where she emphasized that job security is an important tool of empowerment and safety for victims of domestic violence: “Victims need to be able to speak up about what is happening so they can get the help they need to leave their abusive situation,” she said. “The fear of losing their job, the way they can support themselves and their families after they leave an abuser, should not be a burden they have to carry.”

Urge Governor Jerry Brown to show his support for domestic violence victims by signing the petition below.


Dear Governor Jerry Brown,

I urge you to show your support for SB 400, the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Bill.

Financial independence from abusers is one of the most important tools of empowerment for domestic violence victims to escape their abusive situation. Without job security, we leave these people vulnerable to further abuse if they return to their abuser for financial reasons.

Victims of domestic violence are often harassed at their workplace. Carolyn Charlesworth, a second-grade teacher in San Diego, was fired because her estranged husband went to her workplace and forced a lockdown. Charlesworth lost her job because the school would rather let her go, ostensibly to protect the children at the school, than form a safety plan to protect Charlesworth and her children. This is just one case of employment discrimination against domestic violence victims, and this can no longer stand in California.

Please support the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Bill, and join six states that bar workplace discrimination against domestic violence victims.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Isha Mehmood/The Advocacy Project via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Vanessa Solis Vanessa Solis says:

    We must do more to protect domestic violence victims in the workplace.

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53 Signatures

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