Evidence indicates that domestic violence has negative consequences on victims’ employment; yet employers lag in recognizing this as a workplace issue. To address the problem, some states have established several policy solutions. To understand the scope of the public sector’s response to domestic violence as a workplace issue, a content analysis of state-level employment protection policies for domestic violence victims (N=369) was conducted. Results indicate three broad policy categories: 1) policies that offer work leave for victims; 2) policies that aim to reduce employment discrimination of domestic violence victims; and 3) policies that aim to increase awareness and safety in the workplace. Sub-categories emerged within each of these three categories. Implementation of employment protection policies varies significantly across states. Implications for workplaces, practitioners and policy leaders are discussed.

Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date


Discussion Paper Number

DP 2010-11