There is no federal law that expressly gives workplace rights to employees who find themselves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. That omission, however, does not unchain employers to discriminate against employees who find themselves in these unfortunate circumstances.
Earlier this month, the EEOC issued a Q&A entitled, Application of Title VII and the ADA to Applicants or Employees Who Experience Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking [pdf].
While Title VII and the ADA do not expressly protect victims from discrimination, they do protect against employers' use of stereotypes rooted in protected classes (e.g., sex or mental illness) to treat these employees differently.
The EEOC is kind enough to provide some examples of these stereotypes in action:
Title VII-Disparate Treatment Based on Sex
Title VII-Sexual Harassment
ADA-Disparate Treatment Based on Actual or Perceived Disability
ADA-Denial of Reasonable Accommodation
The Q&A contains many more examples. It is worth reading, and incorporating into your harassment/EEO training so that managers and supervisors are aware of these issues.
Hat tip to the Workplace Prof Blog for bringing this to my attention.
Visit the Ohio Employer's Law Blog for more practical employment law information.
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