Bill that supports unemployment benefits for domestic violence victims passes committee vote
The Florida Senate Commerce and Tourism committee has passed an unemployment compensation bill that would amend Florida law to allow victims of domestic violence to qualify for unemployment compensation.
Senate Bill 1440 (.pdf), filed by state Sen. Oscar Braynon II, D-Miami Gardens, adds language that would include domestic violence as a “good cause” to qualify for unemployment benefits under Florida law. The bill states that “good cause” means that domestic violence as defined by Florida law “causes the individual to reasonably believe that continued employment will jeopardize the individual’s safety or the safety of a member of her or his immediate family.”
It adds that “such cause must be substantiated by evidence that reasonably proves that domestic violence has occurred, such as an injunction, protective order, or other such reasonable and confidential documentation authorized by state law.”
Braynon’s bill was cosponsred by Sens. Anitere Flores, R-Miami; Thad Altman, R-Melbourne; Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah; and Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville.
Florida New Majority a non-profit corporation that mobilizes members on issues like immigration, jobs, housing, writes in a statement issued today: “In a rare case of unanimous, bi-partisan support, Safety for Florida’s Families (SB 1440) passed the FL Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee with a 6-0 vote in favor of a measure which would allow victims of abuse forced to quit their jobs to get away from their abusers to qualify for state unemployment benefits.”
The release adds that this “victory didn’t happen without tremendous effort. Sisterhood of Survivors and other domestic violence support organizations from around Florida, worked very hard advocating for this legislation along with Florida New Majority.”
The Miami-Dade County Commission for Women sent a letter last week to the Miami-Dade legislative delegation in Tallahassee, expressing its position on several “pending bills of particular importance to Florida’s women and girls.”
The letter urged legislators to “enact without delay” the domestic violence unemployment bill.