November 15, 2021,
For Immediate Release
On November 16, 2021, Pittsburgh District 8 City Councilperson Erika Strassburger will introduce new legislation that offers workplace protections for people working in our City and experiencing domestic violence. The legislation was created in partnership between the Councilwoman’s office, the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations (PghCHR), and Standing Firm, a national program of the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.
Those experiencing domestic violence often face significant barriers to economic independence in the City of Pittsburgh which places them at a further disadvantage as they attempt to escape domestic violence situations. Status as a Survivor of Domestic Violence was first introduced as a protected class for the City of Pittsburgh in 2016 by Councilperson Dan Gilman under City Ordinance. The 2016 protections only began the consideration of economic justice of this uniquely vulnerable population.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic has exemplified, domestic violence is a pervasive issue that affects many of our friends and neighbors without us realizing it. Anyone attempting to escape this dangerous situation should be safe from any form of discrimination that could arise, especially at their place of work," said Councilperson Erika Strassburger. "With the introduction of this legislation, survivors of domestic violence will know that their strength is valued, respected, and protected in the City of Pittsburgh. I want to thank Standing Firm and the Commission on Human Relations for making this legislation possible."
An estimated 10 million people in the U.S. per year experience an instance of domestic violence. Access to a stable source of income and personal economic security can be essential to safely escaping domestic violence. However, without adequate legal protections or recourse, survivors of domestic violence will continue to face employment and economic insecurity. People experiencing domestic violence may experience harassment in the workplace, may need frequent access to the court system, or may miss time at work due to the actions of another person. The proposed legislation will require employers to allow reasonable accommodations and considerations for employees who disclose that they are experiencing domestic violence.
PghCHR will enforce the legislation if passed and provide employers with necessary training and information on complying with the law. For additional information about protections for people experiencing domestic violence, visit pittsburghpa.gov/chr. For resources, support, safety planning, and advocacy for domestic violence visit wcspittsburgh.org or call 412-687-8005.
Press Contacts: Jam.Hammond@pittsburghpa.gov; Emilie.Yonan@pittsburghpa.gov