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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: April 6, 2023 02:02 PM
From: Representative Ryan E. Mackenzie
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Domestic Violence Victims by Providing Unemployment Benefits
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that would amend the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Law to make it easier for domestic violence victims to receive benefits if they are forced to quit working in situations where continued employment would jeopardize their safety. 
Under the UC Law, an individual who quits employment has the burden to prove eligibility under a two point test: 1) the reasons for quitting must be “necessitous and compelling,” and 2) the claimant must have made reasonable efforts to maintain the employment relationship. 
My legislation would create an exception for this test and instead allow a domestic victim to confidentially submit reasonable evidence of recent domestic violence. A victim would not be required to submit a copy of a protective order or police report, although they could choose to do so. A victim would not have to prove that they attempted to maintain the employment relationship. 
In the vast majority of situations, an employee who voluntarily quits employment should have to meet a steep bar before being awarded taxpayer-funded benefits. However, I believe that there should be an exception for victims of domestic violence who could be put in danger by continued employment. 
Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1446