Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today reintroduced the Give Workplace Gender Violence Victims Their Day in Court Act, to prevent employers from using workers compensation to avoid liability when employer negligence led to the crime and victims of workplace sexual violence sue their employers.
"Rape is not an accident and should never be regarded as an everyday, regular occurrence on the job. This legislation will enable victims and encourage employers to create a work environment free of sexual violence," said Rep. Maloney.
"Workers compensation systems were designed to create accident-free workplaces and allow employees hurt on the job to receive payment for medical expenses and lost wages. Using this as a way for employers to avoid lawsuits stemming from their own negligence is offensive to victims of this terrible crime. My bill sends the message that rape is not all in a day's work."
The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that in 2008, 12,633 rapes and sexual assaults occurred while U.S. employees were working or on duty. When sexual violence happens at the workplace, women are often traumatized again when learning that their remedy is workers compensation. This downgrades the crime to an "on-the-job occurrence' and prevents victims from suing employers when the crime occurred due to lack of safeguards and protections by employers. This bill will prevent employers from invoking worker's compensation when employer negligence results in the sexual assault of their employee.