A mother of two pre-teenaged children and a victim of abuse of the children’s father, a crack and alcohol abuser with a criminal history, filed a case of illegal dismissal from work for alleged discrimination against victims of domestic violence.
The mother of two was hired as a probationary worker by the New York City Department of Correction. The mother was fired by the Department because, according to the Department, their sick leave policy requires probationary employees to provide their home address and telephone numbers and require the employees to stay in their residence, or the place of confinement, at all times during the period of illness except when receiving medical treatment. Because of this policy, the mother was forced to give to the Department her husband’s address. When the Department conducted an investigation on the sick leave, the mother was nowhere to be found in the address she gave to her employer.
The mother explained to the Department that she was not living in the address she gave and was actually homeless after moving out of her partner’s house as a result of the acts of violence repeatedly committed against her and their children. The Department did not believe her story. Fearful of losing her job and her only chance to start anew, the mother went back to her husband’s house but moved out again because her husband continued to assault her.
Domestic violence is a common social problem in America. Its impact in the workplace has received increased attention in recent years. States have laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against crime victims who take time off to testify in criminal proceedings. New York’s version of the law also encompasses Family Court proceedings and protects victims of domestic abuse who take time off to seek orders of protection.
The ability to hold on to a job is one of a victim’s most valuable weapons in the war for survival, since gainful employment is the key to independence from the batterer. When the victim losses a job, she becomes more emotionally helpless because she knows she could not provide for herself and for her children. She might not continue to be financially dependent on her abuser without a gainful occupation.
New York laws, although providing for better employment conditions to victims of domestic violence, also does not provide more favorable conditions to victims in that most employees suffer decrease in production because of a victim’s absenteeism. In this case, the mother of two’s job performance was not exemplary because she had excessive tardiness and absenteeism. But, at a time when the victim here was already at a point of re-starting her life, she lost her job because she could not provide an address because she became homeless as a result of domestic violence.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its New York Family Lawyers, has convenient offices throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, NY. Our Attorneys know how difficult it is to be a victim of domestic violence. We can provide you with advice to guide you through your case. Without our Attorneys, you may lose your rights which may cost you a significant amount of money.
Stephen Bilkis and Associates, in addition to Domestic Violence Laws, will recommend New York Assault Lawyers who will help you.