Although admitting no wrongdoing, The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. in November revealed that it will alter its “Random Threat Response” policy of prohibiting employees who are victims of domestic violence from working without a protective order in place. The change comes as a result of a settlement with an employee who was sent home after confiding in a manager that her life had recently been threatened by her estranged husband. The employee filed a workplace discrimination complaint against the department store chain shortly thereafter.
Under New York state law, workers cannot be retaliated against because they are victims of domestic violence. According to Towson domestic violence lawyers, similar protections are in place in Maryland for state employees. Section 5.2 of the State of Maryland Personnel Policy provides that employers may not discipline or otherwise penalize employees for being abused. The state must also refer employees who underperform as a result of their status as domestic violence victims to the State Employee Assistance Program, and take steps to keep the abused employee safe. Such measures can include, but are not limited to, providing the employee with an escort and the installation of security cameras around the workplace.
For private sector companies and their employees, however, there is no Maryland law comparable to that offered by New York. Although Bon-Ton operates department stores throughout the country, including in Maryland, the settlement announced in November will be applicable only to the 1,200 Bon-Ton employees in New York State. Bon-Ton agreed not only to abandon its requirement that an employee receive a protective order in order to return to work following an allegation of domestic violence, but also to provide training and other educational materials to its New York employees with regard to New York State’s Human Rights Law. Towson domestic violence lawyers note that Bon-Ton also pledged a $5,000 donation to the Erie County Sheriff’s Department Domestic Violence Unit.
Towson Domestic Violence Lawyers of Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Pursue Retaliation Claims on Behalf of Abuse Victims
Men and women who suffer from domestic violence should not be victimized by their employer. Instead, employers should foster a committed and caring work environment where employees feel comfortable. At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, our Towson domestic violence lawyers will work tirelessly to protect your rights. If you or a loved one were treated unfairly by an employer because of domestic violence at home, contact us online or call 443-589-0150 to schedule a consultation at our offices in East Pikesville, Hunt Valley or Towson, Maryland where we proudly serve clients throughout Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, including the communities of Baltimore, Towson, Essex, Columbia and Bel Air.