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Domestic Violence: A Primer on Accommodations and Discrimination in the Workplace

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: October 26, 2020
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  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive domestic violence policy
  • Providing reasonable accommodations and resources for victims
  • Raising awareness in the workplace
  • Impact of protection orders
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Recorded: October 26, 2020


Victims of crime and domestic violence survivors experience trauma not only at the hands of their abuser but often from the backlash experienced at work as well. Protecting the rights of victims is much more nuanced than leave laws. Organizations must provide the necessary accommodations to ensure victims can attend criminal proceedings or obtain orders of protection while not being subjected to discrimination.

This panel will address the workplace impact of violence and strategies to assist victims of crime and survivors.

This program was recorded on October 26th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Robin R. Runge

Professorial Lecturer in Law
George Washington University Law School

Robin R. Runge is the Senior Gender Specialist in the Equality and Inclusion Department at the Solidarity Center and a professorial lecturer in law at The George Washington University Law School where she has taught Public Interest Lawyering and Domestic Violence Law since 2004, including in the clinical education program. Since 2003, she has consulted with non-profit organizations domestically and internationally to prevent and address gender-based violence including development of programs and policies to address domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual violence in the workplace and on campus.

Prior to joining the staff of the Solidarity Center, Ms. Runge was the Director of Enforcement Policy and Procedures in the Wage and Hour Division and a Senior Policy Advisor in the Civil Rights Center at the U.S. Department of Labor. From 2009-2013, she was an assistant professor at the University of North Dakota School of Law where she taught in the Housing and Employment Law Clinic and Domestic Violence Law. In 2012-2013, Ms. Runge lived in Beijing, China as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar studying the legal system response to domestic violence in China. From 2003 to 2009, she directed the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence where she led efforts to expand civil legal assistance for victims of domestic violence nationally. Previously, Ms. Runge was Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Program on Women's Employment Rights (POWER) at the D.C. Employment Justice Center. Upon graduation from law school, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship and created the Domestic Violence and Employment Project at the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, one of the first programs in the country devoted exclusively to advocating for the employment rights of domestic violence victims. She is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and Wellesley College.

Ms. Runge is one of the pioneers in the field of gender-based violence and the workplace. She is an expert on the development of policies and laws domestically and internationally to address the impact of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking on women and the workplace. Ms. Runge has represented victims of domestic and sexual violence in employment law cases, developed model workplace policies on domestic violence, drafted federal, state and local legislation providing job-guaranteed leave from work for victims and prohibiting employment discrimination against employees who are victims. As a law professor, she has researched and written several articles about the intersection gender-based violence and employment. Ms. Runge is from Collinsville, Illinois and currently resides in Washington, D.C.?

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Elizabeth Kristen

Director, Gender Equity & LGBT Rights Program
Legal Aid at Work

Elizabeth Kristen (she/her) is the director of our Gender Equity & LGBT Rights Program, where she represents low-wage workers facing employment discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military, or veteran status. As director of our Fair Play for Girls in Sports project, she engages in community education, negotiations, litigation, and policy work on behalf of female students who have not been afforded equal athletic opportunities under Title IX. She won a ground breaking Ninth Circuit ruling, with her co-counsel, that enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments in a Southern California high school (Ollier v. Sweetwater).

Elizabeth graduated from Berkeley Law in 2001. She was selected for the Order of the Coif and served as an editor for the California Law Review. Prior to joining Legal Aid at Work in 2002 as a Skadden Fellow, she clerked for the Honorable James R. Browning on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

In 2015, California Lawyer selected Elizabeth as one of its California Lawyers of the Year in the field of Civil Rights. Elizabeth is a Northern California Super Lawyer. She was the recipient of Protect our Defenders' Justice Award. In 2012-2013, Elizabeth served as a Harvard law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow. She was a lecturer at Berkeley Law School from 2008-2013.

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Aaron Polkey

Staff Attorney, Outreach & Engagement
FUTURES Without Violence

Aaron focuses on FUTURES’ workplace safety and judicial education initiatives. He has developed curricula and trained individuals from varied disciplines, including public and private employers and workers, judges, advocates, and professional athletes.

Prior to joining FUTURES, Aaron served as an Attorney Advisor with the D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate, where he fought for affordable and safe housing. Aaron also advocated for equal voting rights with a national nonprofit, and practiced trial law with a prominent firm that specializes in civil rights matters.

Aaron is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of South Carolina School of Law.

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