EEOC warns employers of discrimination related to domestic violence

New fact sheet provides examples of situations in which employers could be discriminating against victims

Read more about state domestic violence laws.

Within a one-week period in October 2012, a beauty parlor in Wisconsin and one in Florida both turned into bloody crime scenes after gunmen who apparently were enraged at their estranged spouses opened fire at the salons where their wives worked. In suburban Milwaukee, the armed man killed three salon employees, including his estranged wife who recently had obtained a restraining order after reporting domestic abuse. A few days earlier, another gunman had opened fire at a salon in suburban Orlando, killing three women and wounding a fourth, his wife. 

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The EEOC guidance covers several other ways in which discrimination laws may protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. To illustrate a potential violation of Title VII’s prohibition against sexual harassment, it cites a supervisor making sexual advances on a vulnerable farmworker after learning she has been subject to domestic abuse and is living in a shelter.

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Mary Swanton

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