Publications

THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF WOMEN IN VERMONT

bookletSince 1977, The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont has been a “go to” source of information for Vermont women, their families, and the professionals that serve them. Written in plain language, the handbook, although written for women, covers issues affecting all Vermonters, such as marriage and divorce, adoption, wills and probate, women’s health, employment and education, housing and public accommodations, violence, public assistance and government benefits, insurance as well as others. New features include information on human trafficking, health insurance, same sex marriage, and immigration. The new edition allows users to link directly to the Vermont Commission on Women’s comprehensive resource directory and to federal and state statute websites. The result is reader-friendly content with easy-access reference links.

 

TAXATION OF FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS IN VT

Grocery store receiptIn the U.S., 47 states have a sales tax, and most of those apply the tax to the sale of feminine hygiene products.  Some states apply a luxury tax to these products.  Taxation of feminine hygiene products has garnered international attention in recent years, and Connecticut, New York, Illinois, and Canada passed legislation to exclude feminine hygiene products from tax in 2016.  In 2017, a number of states are considering bills that would do the same.  In Vermont, a bill (H.43) has been introduced that would add feminine hygiene products to the list of items excluded from sales tax.  Read VCW's fact sheet for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

VERMONT PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE FEASIBILITY STUDY

View highlights from the study here.
View the full study here.
The Vermont Commission on Women received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau to study the feasibility of a paid family and medical leave program in Vermont. This study was conducted by IMPAQ International, in partnership with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the UVM’s Center for Rural Studies, and Lake Research Partners and completed in 2016.  Elements of the study included: a cost-benefit analysis; financing, eligibility, and benefit modeling; an implementation feasibility analysis and public opinion surveying; an economic-impact analysis and profiles of families; and both a survey and focus groups of Vermont employers.  We hope the findings enrich and inform policy conversations. 

 

 

 

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PREGNANT WORKERS

Pregnancy Accomodations ComixUnder current state and federal law, employees who are experiencing healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies are not entitled to receive workplace accommodations such as having access to water, access to a stool or a chair, longer or more frequent restroom breaks, or avoiding heavy lifting.  In January, 2017, a bill (H. 136) was introduced in the Vermont Legislature that would ensure healthy pregnant workers in Vermont receive reasonable workplace accommodations during their pregnancies. Since 2001, fifteen states have passed similar legislation and currently, more than ten states have similar bills pending. Read VCW's policy brief for more information.

 

 

CHANGE THE STORY STATUS REPORTS

Change the Story Vermont logoSpearheaded by Vermont Commission on Women, Vermont Works for Women, and the Vermont Women's Fund, Change The Story VT is a multi-year initiative to align philanthropy, policy, and programs to fast-track women's economic progress in Vermont.

Sneak Preview: Vermont Women in Leadership - quick look (to be followed soon with a full report) at gender partiy in the public sphere.  Vermont, take a bow: you're #1 for women serving as state legislators!! 

Women's Business Ownership and the Vermont Economy - examines business ownership by women and its potential to bolster and invigorate Vermont’s economy.

Where Vermont Women Work...and Why It Matters - focuses specifically on occupational segregation, its impact on women’s wages, and the way in which it compromises Vermont’s ability to make the most of home-grown talent.

Women, Work and Wages in Vermont - focuses on demographic data and represents months of diving deep into state and national data, reports, and other ancillary resources to create an accurate snapshot of the state of women in Vermont when it comes to work and wages.

 

 

 

IMPORTANT WORKPLACE LAWS

Workplace lawsImportant Workplace Laws Vermont Workers Should Know (PDF, 167 KB)

Important Workplace Laws Vermont Employers Should Know (PDF, 196 KB)

These flyers, one designed for workers, the other designed for employers, provide information about rights and responsibilities under equal pay laws and other laws governing the workplace.   For example: Vermont workers now the right to request flexible working arrangements without fear of retaliation. Those intermediate or long-term changes might include working from home, changes in the number of days or hours worked, changes in work arrival or departure times or job-sharing. Employers must discuss and consider such requests at least twice per calendar year. Other information incorporated includes current equal pay laws, how to handle suspected pay discrimination, wage disclosure laws, pregnant worker’s rights, lactation accommodations, anti-retaliation protection, and information concerning family and medical leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VCW'S BROCHURE

Brochure coverLearn more about the Commission: who we are, what we do.
VCW Brochure (PDF file, 230 KB)
You can also learn more by linking to About Us on this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERMONT WORKPLACES SUPPORT NURSING MOMS

Nursing MomsEmployers and employees: find out more about the needs and rights of moms returning to work.
Nursing Moms (PDF file, 1202 KB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE STATUS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN VERMONT REPORTS

Status report coverWomen in Leadership and Public Life 2015  (PDF file, 412 KB)

2013 Women in Public Life  (PDF file, 856 KB)

2011 Women in Public Life (PDF file, 274 KB)

2009 Status Report (PDF file, 735 KB)

2008 Status Report (PDF file, 384 KB)

2007 Status Report (PDF file, 417 KB)

2006 Status Report (PDF file, 701 KB)

2005 Status Report (PDF file, 335 KB)

2004 Status Report  (PDF file, 4648 KB)

2003 Status Report  (PDF file, 3234 KB)

 

 

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: A WORKPLACE ISSUE

 a workplace issueDomestic Violence Doesn't Stay Home When Victims Go to Work.VCW partnered with the Vermont Attorney General's office, the Vermont Council on Domestic Violence and other advocates to address domestic violence as a public health and safety issue in the workplace. Download these materials for your workplace:

Updated 10/15:  Domestic Violence: A Workplace Issue (PDF file, 78 KB)

Full Report of 2011 Study: How Does Domestic Violence Affect the Vermont Workplace? A survey of male offenders enrolled in batterer intervention programs in Vermont.
Schmidt, M.C. & Barnett, A. M.C. & Barnett, A. (2011). Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Center for Rural Studies

Executive Summary of Study
Schmidt, M.C. & Barnett, A. M.C. & Barnett, A. (2011). Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Center for Rural Studies

Model Workplace Policy

 

 

 

THE VERMONT GUIDE TO PARENTAL AND FAMILY LEAVE

This 20-page booklet provides information for employees and employers about parental, family, and short-term leave. Information includes descriptions of federal and Vermont state laws, detailed definitions for each type of leave, and answers to commonly-asked questions. UPDATE: In June of 2012, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that annual and sick leave accruals are not employee benefits. Therefore, your employer is not required to accrue vacation and sick leave hours for the unpaid hours that you take off for either short-term or long-term family or parental leave. However your employer may continue to allow you to accrue vacation and sick time during either short or long term leave.
Vermont Guide to Parental and Family Leave (PDF file, 5 MB)

 

 

 

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE: A GUIDE FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS

Sexual Harassment publicaitonThis 20-page booklet provides general information, including a definition of sexual harassment, descriptions of state and federal laws, policies for Vermont businesses, and steps employees can take if harassed.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (PDF file, 674 KB)

 

 

 

 

AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO GETTING APPOINTED TO VERMONT STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

Getting AppointedThis 16-page booklet takes the reader through step-by-step preparation for the boards and commissions applications process.

Getting Appointed to Vermont State Boards and Commissions (PDF file, 1,037 KB)

Vermont boards and commissions have multiple appointing authorities, many include the Governor. Link here for vacancy information and an application: Governor's Boards & Commissions Office

 

 

 

 

 

LISTEN, TALK, AND KEEP TALKING

Tips, tricks and resources for parents and guardians when confronted with objectionable sexual, sexits or violent language or imagery. 
Listen, Talk (and Keep Talking) (PDF file, 243 KB)

 

 

 

 

GOVERNOR'S PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE TASK FORCE REPORT

The first of its kind in the nation, the Governor's Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force was created (in 2011) by Governor Shumlin to evaluate Vermont’s domestic and sexual violence prevention resources and programs, identify gaps in services, identify ways to increase coordination of prevention efforts around the state, and make recommendations to enhance and improve prevention efforts in Vermont. Workgroups of the taskforce examined data collection, college campus prevention efforts, workplace approaches, men’s attitudes, military practices, effective social change campaigns and prevention practices currently in place.

The report features 7 recommendations:

1. Support the creation and implementation of a comprehensive statewide plan to prevent domestic and sexual violence
2. Support and help develop a statewide, multipronged prevention campaign
3. Build capacity for bystander engagement strategies for all ages
4. Increase the engagement of men in domestic and sexual violence prevention
5. Strengthen Vermont college campuses’ response to prevention of domestic and sexual violence
6. Enhance data collection and accessibility
7. Establish a Violence Prevention Program Coordinator at the State level

View the report. (PDF 3.17 MB)

 

 

 

"WHAT TEEN GIRLS SAY": A STATEWIDE SURVEY OF VERMONT GIRLS

Scout SurveyVermont Commission on Women and Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains collaborated on these statewide surveys of teen girls in 6th through 12th grade.  Survey topics and questions were created by a panel of girls.  That panel also presented survey results to legislators at the Vermont State House each year, consequently, “What Teen Girls Say” survey results captured the attention of policy makers,  school officials, parents and the media.  Topics included: social media; planning for jobs or college; making, saving, and spending money; bullying and harassment; health and wellness; and growing up in Vermont.

2011: Relationships (PDF file, 151 KB)

2010: Employment and Education (PDF file, 224 KB)

2009: Money Matters (PDF file, 1,982 KB)

2008: Health and Wellness (PDF file, 1,089 KB)

2007: Bullying and Harassment (PDF file, 1,053 KB)

2006: Growing Up in Vermont (PDF file, 1,340 KB)

 

 

 

VCW's Resource Listings

STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS  Contact us to Order This Document

WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINERS  Contact us to Order This Document

EDUCATION LOANS AND GRANTS  Contact us to Order This Document

SALARY, BENEFITS, AND FLEXIBLE WORKPLACE ISSUES TRAINERS   Contact us to Order This Document

 

 

 

RECLAIMING LOST GROUND FOR VERMONT'S INCARCERATED WOMEN

The Vermont Commission on Women took part in this collaborative effort to improve conditions for women inmates at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in 2012.   Reclaiming Lost Ground for Vermont's Incarcerated Women.

 

 

 

MANAGED CARE AND YOU: A SIMPLE GUIDE TO CHOOSING AND USING A MANAGED CARE HEALTH PLAN

Managed CareA set of comprehensive educational materials for health consumers, these booklet detail how managed care works, how to choose a health plan, what to do to get the health care you and your family need, what your rights are in managed care, and what to do if you have a problem with your health plan. Managed Care and You (PDF file, 5,847 KB)

 

 

 

ACCESSING HEALTH CARE IN VERMONT: A WOMAN-CENTERED APPROACH

Health Report CoverAdopted by VCW in 2005, this paper addressed the need of Vermont women to access affordable health care throughout their lives. Health Care in VT (PDF file, 155 KB)