As an employer, you are probably well aware that unemployment insurance benefits are available for all workers who are released from their job due to reasons beyond their control. While this may seem cut and dry on the surface, in fact, many problems arise when the company and the terminated staff member disagree on the classification.

Such an argument can lead to a court case and increased costs. In many situations, it is best to prevent problems before they can reach this critical stage. One such gray area has been victims of domestic violence who are let go due to reasons related to the abuse, and a recent ruling from Washington, D.C.’s Court of Appeals could clarify this issue.

Court reverses ruling on benefits
In May 2012, one employee was fired for misconduct after allowing a man – who she was in an abusive relationship with – on company premises, The Washington Post reported. She alleged that the man had stalked her at her work, and even threatened to have her fired if she ended the relationship. Initially denied unemployment benefits, she took her case to Washington, D.C.’s highest court, which recently ruled in her favor.

This result could make it easier for people terminated in relation to domestic violence to acquire unemployment insurance benefits. Even though the woman in this case technically violated company policy – typically excluding her from receiving payments – the broad pattern of abuse she established fit into a 2004 law designed to protect domestic violence victims’ right to public benefits, the media outlet noted.

Personal finances, abuse related
While this ruling will clarify the issue for many employers, it is also good news for victims of domestic violence. Knowing that unemployment insurance is still available in certain cases will allow people more flexibility when searching for a viable solution.

In Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse Survey Report, personal finances and the severity and frequency of abuse are closely linked. For instance, 70 percent of respondents indicated that financial issues factored into their abuse, while 45 percent stated that job loss played a role and 36 percent indicated a loss of a home or vehicle factored in. In addition, 62 percent of the survey participants – all survivors of domestic abuse – stated that they could not find a job in this recent economic recession.

At Corporate Cost Control, we work closely with employers across the country to better manage the nuances of unemployment insurance. Legislation changes on the state level could impact you today, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have on a wide range of topics.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
Contact our Sales Team
(800) 207-6926

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