District Attorney

Stephanie Anderson


Stephanie Anderson, District Attorney

District Attorney’s Office
142 Federal Street
Portland, ME 04101
(v)207-871-8384
(f) 207-775-3561
Hours: Monday through Friday
8:00-4:30

 

 

Domestic Violence in the Workplace:  Rights and Responsibilities

Domestic Violence does not mean the violence remains at home. It follows its victims wherever they go. Work is a predictable place where a victim is sure to be found. However, the workplace can also be her refuge and help her find a way out. Because of this reality, employers are legally, morally, and fiscally obligated to address domestic violence in their workplaces.

By law employers must give time off, with some exceptions, to employees to deal with the issues surrounding domestic violence. Click here to read the law and its exceptions: Title 26, M.R.S.A. §850. Employment Leave for Victims of Violence

Employees also may have a right to collect unemployment compensation in some cases where domestic violence has played a role in the employee’s inability to maintain their employment. See Unemployment Compensation Misconduct clause at:
Title 26, M.R.S.A. 13, §1043 ¶ 23 B (3)

 and Disqualification clause at:
Title 26, M.R.S.A. 13, §1193.

For more information contact:
Maine Unemployment Benefits Division at 287-3805.
To reach an Unemployment Call Center call 1-800-593-7660 or TTY: 1-888-457-8884.

An employer has a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace. Under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees."

One way to create a safe workplace is to develop a Workplace Safety Plan. Workplace safety plans should be developed in conjunction with the employee survivor and may include some or all of the following:

Taking care of employees is the right thing to do. Worker absenteeism, tardiness, increased health care costs, higher turn over and lower productivity costs money. There are countless incidences where an abuser used company time, the company car, phones, faxes, emails and even co-workers to harass and stalk their victims. Accidents have occurred due to an abuser’s lack of focus on the job.

Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson was one of the first in Maine to enact a Workplace policy. Her policy and others, as well as contacts and resources to help create one of your own are linked below.

Cumberland County District Attorney’s Domestic Violence in the Workplace Policy

Family Crisis Services Work Place Initiatives

Impact of Domestic Offenders on Occupational Safety & Health: A Pilot Study

Domestic Violence in the Workplace: Resources for Supervisors, Managers, and Workplace Responders, presented by Maine Employers Against Domestic Violence

Corporate Alliance to End Domestic Violence

The Family Violence Prevention Fund