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March 16, 2009
Contact: Alan Karmin, <>

SAFE Act will Cost Employers Billions and Hobble the Economy, Report Concludes

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2009 – The SAFE Act will impose billions of dollars on companies for unneeded employees and thwart economic recovery, according to a report released today by RADAR. But Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Ted Poe (R-TX), sponsors of the SAFE (Security and Financial Empowerment) Act, claim the law is needed to combat workplace discrimination against victims of domestic violence.

The SAFE Act would require employers to provide lifetime job security to alleged victims of abuse. The RADAR analysis concludes the employment entitlement will cost companies $28.8 billion a year. The SAFE Act would also require companies to provide health insurance, 30 days emergency leave, and unemployment insurance.

Companies will find it much harder to terminate workers. In the long term, the SAFE Act "will substantially harm the financial well-being of employers and may create severe dislocations in the American economy," according to the RADAR analysis: http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARanalysis-HR739-SAFE-Act-Costs.pdf

The SAFE Act defines domestic violence broadly to include "substantial emotional distress." Victims can become certified by signing a sworn statement or restraining order. No hard proof or verification would be required.

"The SAFE Act is an entitlement free-for-all that will impose European-style labor policies on the American workplace," explains RADAR spokesman Ron Grignol. "That will stifle job creation, force companies into bankruptcy, and thwart economic growth."

False allegations of domestic violence have become widespread in our society. Referring to persons accused of partner abuse, state delegate Luiz Simmons of Maryland notes, "There are tens of thousands of Maryland citizens who have not been found guilty of anything." An analysis published last year in the Cost Management journal concluded 71% of restraining orders are issued for frivolous or false reasons.

A 1998 General Accounting Office study also cast doubt on whether workplace discrimination is a problem. The GAO reported, "we cannot conclude that being a victim of domestic violence changes the likelihood that a woman will work."

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org.

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