Next for Gov. Jerry Brown: Helping Victims of Domestic Violence Keep Their Jobs

What Women Really Think
Oct. 15 2013 11:10 AM

Next for Gov. Jerry Brown: Helping Victims of Domestic Violence Keep Their Jobs

180789538
Trying to leave your abusive husband? Gov. Jerry Brown has your back.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It's hard for a progressive not to love Gov. Jerry Brown right now. He must get up in the morning, pour himself a cup of coffee, scratch his pet of choice behind the ears and say to himself, "Whose life am I going to improve today?" Will it be undocumented residents, who now have stronger rights to work and move about freely without fear of deportation? Will it be children with nontraditional families, who have more protection against being put in foster care? Will it be low-income women seeking abortion, who are more likely to get access via a nurse practitioner at their local clinic? Or will it be victims of domestic violence, who, thanks to Brown's progressive law signing marathon, will now have an easier time keeping their jobs, even if their abusers are working really hard to get them fired. 

On Friday, Gov. Brown signed a law banning workplace discrimination against victims of domestic violence and requiring employers to take reasonable precautions to help keep them safe, such as changing desk locations and work phone numbers. This legislation is necessary, because some aggrieved abusers show up at their victims' workplaces, threatening or even committing violence.

Advertisement

While firing the victim solves the problem for the employer, the threat of being fired ends up threatening stalking victims at work in two ways. One, if a victim can't keep her job, that increases the chance that she'll end up financially dependent on the abuser and unable to escape him. Two, if an abuser knows that his harassment increases the chances of getting his victim fired, that gives him every incentive to harass her in the workplace. So while this legislation may create hassles for employers in the short term, in the long run it will discourage abusers from trying to use a victim's job as leverage against her, and make the workplace safer for all.

So kudos to Gov. Brown for helping domestic violence victims feel more secure in their employment, and for helping to make it easier for them to escape their bad situations. What's next on the docket, Jerry?

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

Even by Russian Standards, Moscow’s Anti-War March Was Surprisingly Grim

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 22 2014 12:30 PM Turkey Just Got Forty-Six Hostages Back From ISIS. How Did That Happen?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 12:44 PM The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
  Life
The Shortcut
Sept. 22 2014 12:31 PM Down With Loose Laces A simple trick to tighten your running shoes for good.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 12:22 PM The Age of the Streaming TV Auteur
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.