This note provides an analysis of imposing more responsibility on employers under the law to protect their employees who are victims of domestic violence. More responsibility should fall on employers to educate employees about domestic violence. A registry system for victims of domestic violence would increase workplace security by making employers aware of potential workplace issues. Employers should also be prevented from wrongfully discharging victims of domestic violence.
Part I of this paper examines statistics on domestic violence and the workplace and looks at employers’ attitudes as a barrier to addressing this problem. Part II addresses workplace security issues and an employer’s tort responsibility for protecting employees from domestic violence at the workplace. This section focuses on foreseeability of domestic violence in the workplace as key to recovering damages from one’s employer. Part III deals with an employer’s liability for wrongfully discharging an employee who is a victim of domestic violence. This section looks at a city ordinance, state statutes, and public policy exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine as sources of employer liability. Part IV includes recommendations about the type of future measures that can be taken to protect employees through the implementation of a proposed Uniform Domestic Violence Act. This Act supports victims of domestic violence by protecting them from wrongful discharge; makes it easier for victims of domestic violence at the workplace to recover damages against their employers in tort law claims by creating a registration system that addresses the problem of foreseeability, which is a barrier to tort law recovery; and mandates education in the workplace about domestic violence.
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