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S. 1802 (is) To suspend temporarily the duty on instant print film. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1801 To promote the economic security and safety of victims of domestic and sexual violence, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES October 30, 2003 Mrs. Murray (for herself, Mr. Corzine, Mr. Schumer, and Mr. Dayton) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To promote the economic security and safety of victims of domestic and sexual violence, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Security and Financial Empowerment Act'' or the ``SAFE Act''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Findings. Sec. 3. Definitions. TITLE I--ENTITLEMENT TO EMERGENCY LEAVE FOR ADDRESSING DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE Sec. 101. Purposes. Sec. 102. Entitlement to emergency leave for addressing domestic or sexual violence. Sec. 103. Existing leave usable for addressing domestic or sexual violence. Sec. 104. Emergency benefits. Sec. 105. Effect on other laws and employment benefits. Sec. 106. Conforming amendments. Sec. 107. Effective date. TITLE II--ENTITLEMENT TO UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, OR STALKING Sec. 201. Purposes. Sec. 202. Unemployment compensation and training provisions. TITLE III--VICTIMS' EMPLOYMENT SUSTAINABILITY Sec. 301. Short title. Sec. 302. Purposes. Sec. 303. Prohibited discriminatory acts. Sec. 304. Enforcement. Sec. 305. Attorney's fees. TITLE IV--VICTIMS OF ABUSE INSURANCE PROTECTION Sec. 401. Short title. Sec. 402. Definitions. Sec. 403. Discriminatory acts prohibited. Sec. 404. Insurance protocols for subjects of abuse. Sec. 405. Reasons for adverse actions. Sec. 406. Life insurance. Sec. 407. Subrogation without consent prohibited. Sec. 408. Enforcement. Sec. 409. Effective date. TITLE V--WORKPLACE SAFETY PROGRAM TAX CREDIT Sec. 501. Credit for costs to employers of implementing workplace safety programs. TITLE VI--NATIONAL CLEARINGHOUSE ON DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE GRANT Sec. 601. National clearinghouse on domestic and sexual violence in the workplace grant. TITLE VII--SEVERABILITY Sec. 701. Severability. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings: (1) Domestic violence crimes account for approximately 15 percent of total crime costs in the United States each year. (2) Violence against women has been reported to be the leading cause of physical injury to women. Such violence has a devastating impact on women's physical and emotional health and financial security. (3) According to a recent National Institutes of Health-- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, each year there are 5,300,000 non-fatal violent victimizations committed by intimate partners against women. Female murder victims were substantially more likely than male murder victims to have been killed by an intimate partner. About \1/3\ of female murder victims, and about 4 percent of male murder victims, were killed by an intimate partner. (4) According to recent government estimates, approximately 987,400 rapes occur annually in the United States, 89 percent of the rapes perpetrated against female victims. Since 2001, rapes have actually increased by 4 percent. (5) Approximately 10,200,000 people have been stalked at some time in their lives. Four out of every 5 stalking victims are women. Stalkers harass and terrorize their victims by spying on the victims, standing outside their places of work or homes, making unwanted phone calls, sending or leaving unwanted letters or items, or vandalizing property. (6) Employees in the United States who have been victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking too often suffer adverse consequences in the workplace as a result of their victimization. (7) Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking are particularly vulnerable to changes in employment, pay, and benefits as a result of their victimizations, and are, therefore, in need of legal protection. (8) The prevalence of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other violence against women at work is dramatic. About 36,500 individuals, 80 percent of whom are women, were raped or sexually assaulted in the workplace each year from 1993 through 1999. Half of all female victims of violent workplace crimes know their attackers. Nearly 1 out of 10 violent workplace incidents are committed by partners or spouses. Women who work for State and local governments suffer a higher incidence of workplace assaults, including rapes, than women who work in the private sector. (9) Homicide is the leading cause of death for women on the job. Husbands, boyfriends, and ex-partners commit 15 percent of workplace homicides against women. (10) Studies indicate that between 35 and 56 percent of employed battered women surveyed were harassed at work by their abusive partners. (11) According to a 1998 report of the General Accounting Office, between \1/4\ and \1/2\ of domestic violence victims surveyed in 3 studies reported that the victims lost a job due, at least in part, to domestic violence. (12) Women who have experienced domestic violence or dating violence are more likely than other women to be unemployed, to suffer from health problems that can affect employability and job performance, to report lower personal income, and to rely on welfare. (13) Abusers frequently seek to control their partners by actively interfering with their ability to work, including preventing their partners from going to work, harassing their partners at work, limiting the access of their partners to cash or transportation, and sabotaging the child care arrangements of their partners. (14) More than \1/2\ of women receiving welfare have been victims of domestic violence as adults and between \1/4\ and \1/3\ reported being abused in the last year. (15) Victims of intimate partner violence lose 8,000,000 days of paid work each year--the equivalent of over 32,000 full-time jobs and 5,600,000 days of household productivity. (16) Sexual assault, whether occurring in or out of the workplace, can impair an employee's work performance, require time away from work, and undermine the employee's ability to maintain a job. Almost 50 percent of sexual assault survivors lose their jobs or are forced to quit in the aftermath of the assaults. (17) More than 35 percent of stalking victims report losing time from work due to the stalking and 7 percent never return to work. (18)(A) According to the National Institute of Justice, crime costs an estimated $450,000,000,000 annually in medical expenses, lost earnings, social service costs, pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life for victims, which harms the Nation's productivity and drains the Nation's resources. (B) Violent crime accounts for $426,000,000,000 per year of this amount. (C) Rape exacts the highest costs per victim of any criminal offense, and accounts for $127,000,000,000 per year of the amount described in subparagraph (A). (19) Violent crime results in wage losses equivalent to 1 percent of all United States earnings, and causes 3 percent of the Nation's medical spending and 14 percent of the Nation's injury-related medical spending. (20) The Bureau of National Affairs has estimated that domestic violence costs United States employers between $3,000,000,000 and $5,000,000,000 annually in lost time and productivity, while other reports have estimated the cost at between $5,800,000,000 and $13,000,000,000 annually. (21) United States medical costs for domestic violence have been estimated to be $31,000,000,000 per year. (22) Surveys of business executives and corporate security directors also underscore the heavy toll that workplace violence takes on women, businesses, and interstate commerce in the United States. (23) Ninety-four percent of corporate security and safety directors at companies nationwide rank domestic violence as a high security concern. (24) Forty-nine percent of senior executives recently surveyed said domestic violence has a harmful effect on their company's productivity, 47 percent said domestic violence negatively affects attendance, and 44 percent said domestic violence increases health care costs. (25) Only 25 States have laws that explicitly provide unemployment insurance to domestic violence victims in certain circumstances, and none of the laws explicitly cover victims of sexual assault or stalking. (26) Only 6 States provide domestic violence victims with leave from work to go to court, to the doctor, or to take other steps to address the domestic violence in their lives, and only Maine provides such leave to victims of sexual assault and stalking. (27) No States prohibit employment discrimination against victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Five States provide limited protection to some victims under certain circumstances. (28) Employees, including individuals participating in welfare to work programs, may need to take time during business hours to-- (A) obtain orders of protection; (B) seek medical or legal assistance, counseling, or other services; or (C) look for housing in order to escape from domestic violence. (29) Domestic and sexual violence victims have been subjected to discrimination by private and State employers, including discrimination motivated by sex and stereotypic notions about women. (30) Domestic violence victims and third parties who help them have been subjected to discriminatory practices by health, life, disability, and property and casualty insurers and employers who self-insure employee benefits who have denied or canceled coverage, rejected claims, and raised rates based on domestic violence. Although some State legislatures have tried to address these problems, the scope of protection afforded by the laws adopted varies from State to State, with many failing to address the problem comprehensively. Moreover, Federal law prevents States from protecting the almost 40 percent of employees whose employers self-insure employee benefits. (31) Existing Federal law does not explicitly-- (A) authorize victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to take leave from work to seek legal assistance and redress, counseling, or assistance with safety planning activities; (B) address the eligibility of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking for unemployment compensation; (C) prohibit employment discrimination against actual or perceived victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or (D) prohibit insurers and employers who self-insure employee benefits from discriminating against domestic violence victims and those who help them in determining eligibility, rates charged, and standards for payment of claims; nor does it prohibit insurers from disclosure of information about abuse and the victim's location through insurance databases and other means. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act, except as otherwise expressly provided: (1) Commerce.--The terms ``commerce'' and ``industry or activity affecting commerce'' have the meanings given the terms in section 101 of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2611). (2) Course of conduct.--The term ``course of conduct'' means a course of repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person or conveying verbal or written threats, including threats conveyed through electronic communications, or threats implied by conduct. (3) Dating violence.--The term ``dating violence'' has the meaning given the term in section 826 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (20 U.S.C. 1152). (4) Domestic or sexual violence.--The term ``domestic or sexual violence'' means domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. (5) Domestic violence.--The term ``domestic violence'' has the meaning given the term in section 826 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (20 U.S.C. 1152). (6) Domestic violence coalition.--The term ``domestic violence coalition'' means a nonprofit, nongovernmental membership organization that-- (A) consists of the entities carrying out a majority of the domestic violence programs carried out within a State; (B) collaborates and coordinates activities with Federal, State, and local entities to further the purposes of domestic violence intervention and prevention; and (C) among other activities, provides training and technical assistance to entities carrying out domestic
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