Fired For Being A Victim Of Domestic Violence

You can be fired in 44 states if you are a victim of domestic violence.
You can be fired in 44 states if you are a victim of domestic violence.

Carie Charlesworth, right, was abused by her former husband. Sadly, that is not unusual -- one of an estimated 1.3 million womenare said to be victims of domestic violence each year.

But what is remarkable is what happened to the former San Diego second grade teacher as a result of her ex-husband Martin Charlesworth repeatedly stalking her at work (he's served time in prison and is now out on parole). Her then-employer, the Holy Trinity School, fired her in the "interest of the safety of the students, faculty and parents" at the school, according to the letter signed by Tom Beecher and Bobbie Espinosa, school directors for the Diocese of San Diego.

Losing a job for these reasons is legal in all but six states in the U.S. Just Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island have laws that ban discrimination against victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault, according to Legal Momentum, the New York-based women's advocacy organization.

Should more states adopt laws? How many women have been fired for being victims of domestic violence? And how did Charlesworth deal with this trauma? Charlesworth and Michelle Caiola, a senior staff attorney withLegal Momentum, discussed these questions and more during this week's AOL Jobs' "Lunchtime Live." Rachael Langston, who's an attorney with the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, which is an organizational co-sponsor of California Senate Bill 400 that would make it illegal to discriminate against domestic violence victims in the Golden State, also joined the chat. (A rep from the San Diego Archdiocese was invited to participate in the chat, but did not respond to AOL Jobs' request.)

Watch the highlights reel below, and the full discussion here.