Legislation that’s working its way through the statehouse would provide unemployment benefits for some victims of domestic violence.
Representative Todd Taylor says if a woman has to quit her job in order to avoid contact with her abuser, then she should be able to collect unemployment. "So she’s safe in a shelter but she has to go to a convenience store to work and then after the morning rush, say, her victimizer shows up to work because that’s where he knows she will be," Taylor says.
Taylor, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says in order to qualify for the unemployment, though, the worker would have to prove they are endangered. "There’s a statement of report from law enforcement or a professional agency or a domestic violence shelter, witness statements — these are the things that I would describe as defining a bona fide circumstance," Taylor says.
Another portion of the bill would help workers who’re caring for a sick family member and have used up all their family and medical leave benefits. The worker then would become eligible for unemployment benefits if they have to quit their job in order to continue providing care to an ill family member.