In all but six states, you can be fired for being a victim of domestic violence


Well, at least we can take comfort in the fact that Illinois is an exception to THIS RULE:

Last week, Carie Charlesworth [not the woman in the generic photo above], a teacher in California and a victim of domestic violence, was fired from her job because her abusive husband invaded the school parking lot and put the school on lockdown. While her abuser was sent to prison, she was also punished for his crime by losing her employment.

The school’s action -– firing her because she is a victim of domestic abuse –- is sadly legal in most states. Just six, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island, have laws on the books that bar employment discrimination against victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault…

Illinois and Hawaii, as well as New York City and Westchester County, go further to mandate that employers offer victims reasonable accommodations so that they can stay at work: “things like allowing you to change your work telephone number or changing a shift so someone can’t stalk you and find you,” Michelle Caiola, a senior staff attorney at Legal Momentum, told ThinkProgress. Fourteen states protect victims who need to take time off of work to go to counseling, court, or seek medical attention due to their abuse.

For their part, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that only about 15 percent of employers have a workplace policy that specifically addresses domestic violence.

The laws are sparse, but the abuse at work is not. One study found that nearly three-quarters of abused women were harassed by their partner while at work. Homicide is a leading cause of workplace deaths for women, second only to roadway incidents.

But discrimination like the kind that Charlesworth experienced can lead victims to shy away from reporting. Of the 4 million workplace crimes committed against women from 1993-1990, less than half were reported to the police.



  1. are you kidding me

    30 years ago before the laws were changed, I had to take my children and drive 2000 miles away from my husband who was abusing me and my children instead of making him leave the home so the kids and I could stay. It was a very long trip and was very hard on the kids. The reason was so the judge would know that we were safe. Now, what would happened now days I wonder.

  2. Although it’s sad that “a teacher in California and a victim of domestic violence, was fired from her job because her abusive husband invaded the school parking lot and put the school on lockdown” how can you fault the school for doing this? If her abusive husband came into the school guns blazing and killed 26 people, would you not fault the school for allowing her to work there knowing her husband was a powder keg ready to blow into their school? How else would you suggest the schools deal proactively with potential violence and potential active shooters?

    I agree this is sad, but I can’t fault the school from recognizing their responsibility and potential legal liability in this case.

  3. Craig Knauss

    A. J.

    I think the proper response from the school would be to request the police department to enforce the restraining order, which is their job, even if that meant shooting the SOB in the parking lot.

    The improper response is to penalize the victim.

    When I moved my mother out of Rockford area, we donated a lot of her stuff to an organization that provided sanctuary for abuse victims. We were glad to do so.

  4. expdoc

    To paraphrase Craig,

    To protect the school bring men with guns to guard it.

  5. Craig Knauss

    I’m not sure what your point is, doc.

    I clearly said, “…request the police department to enforce the restraining order…” That’s the police, doc, the police. Not a bunch of two-bit vigilante types. Is that clear now?

    Your “paraphrase” was more of a distortion.

  6. Robert

    Craig, how’s the school going to keep tabs on the abusing spouse and know when they’re going to make a move?

    I used to deliver restraining orders to abusive spouses (all husbands at that time). It’s a very delicate situation. Once they accepted my envelope they were in violation and had to leave immediately. It was my responsibility to see them leave and vacate the premises and drive away. I was surprised how many wives wanted to watch the event (we even had one atty in the office that would like to go with me to watch the expression on the husband’s face). I told the wives, if there’s any violence they’re on their own in hopes they would not be visible, as it could inflame the situation. I usually parked my car away from the residence, but within distance to be able to run to it. They’re highly volatile situations. When you hear about police being shot, often times they’ve responded to a domestic violence call. That’s why police will often times have back ups near by.

    Several of the husbands were in possession of guns as it was noted to me by their wives. I can say one thing from my experience as a process server, it taught me how to sell and it paid very well. I never knew how they were going to respond. I often times made short term friends with the husband to show them I’m not their enemy. I did it by telling them to see an attorney as soon as possible and to not forget their toothbrush and shaving materials and several changes of clothes. I’d have to gamble they weren’t going to come back with a gun. Between the time they accepted the envelope and came back out the door with their belongings seemed like eternity.

    PS – You’d be surprised how many wives go back to their abusive spouses.

  7. expdoc

    It is so amusing to watch liberals squirm when caught in twist of their own liberal confusion.

    My paraphrase was no distortion at all Craig, if anything your response to me was.

    I didn’t say a single thing about vigilantes.

    My point is that if you really want to protect schools from crazy people with guns you would arm people at the school. An idea roundly ridiculed by the left because….well not because it wouldn’t work, because it would work.

    So you tell me why Craig?

  8. Brian Opsahl

    Really Doc, they had an armed guard at Columbined…why didn’t he stop or even go after those 2 shooters…and funny how the NRA is asking for a backgroung checks on those armed school guards…why is that…?

  9. Robert

    Placing armed guards at schools/colleges would just be the beginning. Then we’d see armed guards at malls and theaters, then sports events, then grocery and department stores, then bars and restaurants, then on every street corner in major metro areas, then on every street corner in our neighborhoods. And where we didn’t have armed guards patrolling, we’d have drones flying overhead with the same mission.

    Lots of employment opportunities would be the good side of this proposed direction, that is until those security guards are replaced by robots. Don’t underestimate the roll of robots in the coming future.

    We’re already very much on our way to entering the surveillance/police state in our country, why are we encouraging it even further by thinking armed guards at schools is the way to go?

  10. expdoc


    On April 20, 1999, Neil Gardner, an armed sheriff’s deputy who had been policing the school for almost two years, was eating lunch when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold arrived at Columbine with their deadly arsenal and deadlier intentions.

    Gardner said he got a call from a custodian that he was needed in the school’s back parking lot. A few minutes later, he encountered Harris, and the two exchanged gunfire. The exchange with Harris lasted for an extended period of time, during which Harris’ gun jammed.

    The deputy and the backup he immediately called for exchanged fire with the shooters a second time and helped begin the evacuation of students, all before SWAT teams arrived, and before Harris and Klebold eventually killed themselves in the library.

    Harris and Klebold also carried improvised explosive devices, some that detonated, others that didn’t. One thing is certain — the armed resistance of Gardner and his backup bought time and saved lives.

    There is no way of knowing how many lives were saved that day by an armed sheriff’s deputy, and how many would have been slaughtered if nobody had been there with a gun at all.

    We have noted that days before Sandy Hook, an armed citizen stopped a shooter threatening a massacre at a mall in Clackamas, Ore. It echoed what happened in 2007 during a rampage in Trolley Square, Utah, which was put to an end after an officer who was on a date with his wife, confronted the shooter and kept the 18-year-old shooter pinned down until more police arrived and killed the shooter.

    Some would argue that turning our schools into so-called armed camps is not the answer. But until we find a way to address the common thread of mental illness in these shootings mixed in a deadly cocktail of video games and mass entertainment, a world in which deaths have no consequence and lives no meaning, having good guys with guns confront bad guys with guns is a workable solution that has save countless lives.

    It even worked at Columbine.

  11. Robert

    expdoc, Are you sure that’s not history being re-written? How come this wasn’t a news item back in the days of the event? Are there any mainstream news events more current to the actual timeframe of this event supporting what this article is trying to do?

    We are so misled anymore, who knows what’s the truth and what’s being written to string a certain agenda along?

  12. Robert

    Here’s a timeline I found of the Columbine shootings. Although Gardner’s efforts were valiant, I’m not sure he really was able to change the course of events, before other police arrived.


  13. investors.com?


  14. Craig Knauss

    Doc says “…arm people at the school…”

    Arm who, doc, who? The janitors? The teachers? The school nurse?
    That’s why I said “the police”. They’re the only people with proper training to handle the situation.

    Who do you arm at your clinics? Are all the NAs and RNs armed? Are the doctors all packing?

    BTW, doc, your “…an armed citizen stopped a shooter threatening a massacre at a mall in Clackamas, Ore…” is BS. The only armed citizen present never fired a single shot or even seriously confronted the gunman. And FYI, the shooter committed suicide.


  15. Brian Opsahl

    Doc….11 kids lived when the sandyhook school shooter re-loaded….that is a FACT..!!
    When the Gabby Giffords shooter went to re-load he was tackled and nobody else was shot…FACT…!!

    And why is the NRA requesting a background check for these school guards….how can that be…?

  16. expdoc

    Luke’s inability to even discuss a topic?


  17. expdoc


    No, we arm trained security guards.

    Actually, if I was practicing in some other location, I would arm myself, but it isn’t necessary where I live.

    As an example, witness Henry Ford hospital in downtown Detroit. When I interviewed there for residency they wouldn’t even let me walk 2 blocks at 7:45 am in broad daylight. If I would have chosen to train there, I would have carried a loaded weapon. Many of the residents did.


    “It woke me up that morning. They shot about nine to ten times.”

    Detroit Police officers and Henry Ford Hospital armed security both responded. The officers intervened and said when the dogs turned on them, they both fired shots killing the two dogs.

    Henry Ford Hospital has released the following statement.

    “While another employee who witnessed the attack came to her aid immediately, Henry Ford Security Police and Detroit Police officers also swiftly responded. The officers were forced to fatally shoot both dogs when the dogs turned on them. Our employee was treated for her injuries and is expected to return to work in the coming weeks. Our hospital campus is a safe environment for the thousands of employees and patients who work and come here for their medical care every day.”

  18. Brian Opsahl

    So your looking for a Police State….armed guards in our streets,schools,malls,and in your life big time …hhmm

  19. expdoc

    Actually, no, I am not Brian.

    These incidents are not common.

    Proposed gun control measures would do little to stop them.

    Placing armed guards in every possible vulnerable location would help to stop or limit them, but it wouldn’t prevent them. However,it might be a better job stimulus package than anything else that has been tried in the last 10 years.

    I would treat each incident like a suicide jumper from a bridge. Little or no reporting and no identification/glorification of the killer.

    Most effective would be to dramatically increase resources for diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. I would also modify HIPAA so that communication between mental health professionals and other groups would be much easier in regards to patients that may be a risk to the general population.

  20. Craig Knauss

    Well, doc, it looks like you’ve finally answered a question. Good for you.

    Your “we arm trained security guards” is a pretty definitive answer. Not like the vague, “arm people at the school” you previously stated. And nothing like your “To protect the school bring men with guns to guard it” “distortion of what I said.

    I took exception to that because some of the halfwits out here were suggesting (to avoid the cost of police in schools) that teachers and administrators be armed. That’s why I asked if your NAs and RNs are armed. Doing so would be slightly better than arming the clowns in the circus.

    Since it appears that you are doing just exactly what I suggested, I wasn’t the confused one, was I?

  21. Robert

    expdoc, Has anybody in the psychology/sociology fields done any research into this mass shooting phenomenon we see so much of these days? From the high school shootings that were so prevalent in the late 90s, to the most current rampages we all have heard about, there has to be some research group looking into why this is happening.

    Untreated mental illness is certainly part of it, but there has to be more behind these incidents than mental illness. I’ve heard some of these young males were on the new anti-deperessants, but that fact is being hidden to protect big pharma.

    Somethings changed in our society. Somebody or some group has to be researching this phenomenon.

    Likewise, look at the middle east. One country after another is having uprisings amongst the people. It can’t be a coincidence, it’s happening too frequently. Is it something in the water, the air, the internet (just being facetious). There’s just to0 much of this hooliganism going on for it not have an identifiable causation, if not several reasons.

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