Obama Administration To Establish Policies on Employment Protections for Domestic Violence in the Federal Workplace

 In 2003 then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama partnered with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law to pass the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act, or VESSA, the most comprehensive set of employment protections for employees coping with domestic or sexual violence in the country. VESSA promotes employment security, economic stability, and safety for survivors and their families. VESSA permits eligible employees to take unpaid, job-guaranteed leave from employment to deal with the violence (e.g., go to court to obtain an order of protection, recover from injuries). VESSA also prohibits covered employers from discrimination based on an employee’s status as a survivor or as an employee with a family or household member who is a survivor. Two days ago President Obama signed a memorandum instructing the heads of all federal
agencies and departments to begin creating and implementing policies and procedures that will address the effects of domestic violence and provide assistance to employees who are experiencing domestic violence.