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Reps. Cera and Sweeney Introduce Legislation to Grant Unemployment Benefits to Victims Of Domestic Violence

Lawmakers say bill protects victims, supports recovery and transition
February 18, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) announced today the introduction of House Bill (HB) 508, legislation to allow victims of domestic violence to access unemployment benefits when that individual leaves work as the result of past or ongoing abuse.

“This bill will help protect victims of domestic violence by ensuring they have the resources to help remove themselves and their families from situations of abuse,” said Rep. Cera. “Under HB 508, survivors will not forfeit their unemployment benefits should they deem it necessary to change employment as part of their recovery.”

HB 508 would add documented cases of domestic violence as a reason of “good cause” for individuals to voluntarily separate from their current employer while retaining their eligibility to receive unemployment benefits.

“No one chooses to be abused. Thirty six other states have passed legislation to specifically allow victims of domestic violence to receive unemployment compensation, and Ohio should be one of them,” said Rep. Sweeney. “Our bill would lift a heavy burden off the shoulders of some of society’s most vulnerable, easing their journey toward a fresh start and a brighter future.”

The proposal will soon receive its committee assignment where it will begin initial hearings and consideration.