Florida House Passed Bill Helping Domestic Violence Victims With Unemployment Benefits

A bill ensuring Floridians who have to leave their jobs due to domestic violence can qualify for unemployment benefits has cleared the Florida House.

State Rep. Dotie Joseph, D-Miami, steered her bill through the House which passed it without opposition this week.

“This measure allows victims of domestic violence to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits should they be forced to leave their jobs due to a domestic violence situation,” Joseph’s office noted. “Too often, victims of domestic violence stay in life-threatening situations because of obstacles they perceive as insurmountable–primarily finances and housing. This bill alleviates one of those obstacles.”

Joseph offered her take on the legislation after the House passed it on Wednesday.

“I am honored to have the support of my colleagues as Florida will now join 41 other states that provide victims of domestic violence with unemployment compensation.  Hopefully, this will alleviate some financial insecurity that can keep victims from escaping life-threatening situations. No person should be forced to stay in dangerous circumstances due to finances,” Joseph said. “I sincerely pray that no one will have to use this law, but if God forbid they do, this bill will provide some relief.”

The proposal has support from groups on both sides of the aisle as the AFSCME, the AFL-CIO and the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce all back the bill.

State Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, is championing the proposal in the upper chamber where the bill has also garnered a good deal of momentum, clearing three committees without opposition and it is now on the floor. On Wednesday, the Senate Rules Committee where Gibson serves as the vice chairwoman, passed the bill without opposition.


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