SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of March 21, 2019
Title: An act relating to creating a task force to identify the role of the workplace in helping curb domestic violence.
Brief Description: Creating a task force to identify the role of the workplace in helping curb domestic violence.
Sponsors: Representatives Mosbrucker, Orwall, Sells, Appleton, Jinkins, Macri, Wylie, Bergquist, Doglio, Stanford and Reeves.
Brief History: Passed House: 3/06/19, 97-0.
Committee Activity: Labor & Commerce: 3/21/19.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON LABOR & COMMERCE
Staff: Jarrett Sacks (786-7448)
Background: In the criminal context, a domestic violence offense is a crime committed by one family or household member against another. In the absence of a criminal case, a person experiencing domestic violence may seek a civil protection order that restrains the respondent from contacting the protected person or visiting certain locations.
The state has several programs related to domestic violence assistance. For example, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) contracts with local agencies for services to victims, and contact information for domestic violence organizations is on DSHS's website. The Administrative Office of the Courts prepares and makes available an informational brochure regarding civil protection orders and related matters.
Domestic violence victims may take job-protected leave to seek legal or law enforcement help, seek treatment from a health care provider, or participate in actions to increase the victim's safety. Family members may also take job-protected leave to help a victim.
Summary of Bill: The Department of Commerce (Commerce) must convene a task force on domestic violence and workplace resources to identify the role of the workplace in helping to curb domestic violence. Commerce must appoint the following members of the Task Force:
one member representing each of the following—Association of Washington Business, National Federation of Independent Business, Washington Hospitality Association, Washington Retail Association, Washington State Labor Council, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Washington Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and a federally recognized tribe;
a business owner;
a survivor of domestic violence; and
up to two additional members.
The task force must review the role of the workplace in the lives of individuals experiencing domestic violence, the appropriate role of employers and employees in helping reduce the incidence of domestic violence, and whether legislation is needed to address these issues.
A preliminary report is due to the appropriate committees of the Legislature by December 1, 2019, and a final report is due December 1, 2020.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: One in three people are affected by domestic violence. This bill will look at the role the workplace could play regarding domestic violence. Work is sometimes a victim's only time spent away from the perpetrator.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Gina Mosbrucker, Prime Sponsor.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.