Protect Your Most Important Asset: Employees
Domestic violence affects the lives and compromises the safety of thousands of New Yorkers each day, with tragic, destructive and sometimes fatal results. In addition to taking a tremendous toll on the individuals it directly affects, domestic violence often spills over into the workplace, compromising the safety of both victims and co-workers. Domestic violence in the workplace creates many human resource concerns, including, but not limited to, lost productivity, increased health care costs, increased absenteeism and increased employee turnover.
Important Facts You Should Know:
- A 2005 national survey found that 21% of full-time employed adults were victims of domestic violence. 1
- Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work annually - the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs - as a result of domestic violence.2
- Thirty-seven percent of women who experienced domestic violence reported that the abuse had an impact on their work in the form of lateness, missed work, keeping a job, or career promotions.3
- In one study of batterers, 41% had job performance problems and 48 % had difficulty concentrating on the job as a result of their abusive behaviors.4
- At least one million women and 371,000 men are victims of stalking in the U.S. each year. Stalkers often follow the victim to the workplace.5
- Employers who fail to protect employees from the results of domestic violence at work may be liable.6 For more information view please refer to State and Federal regulations, at the OPDV website.
What You Can Do:
- Implement a Domestic Violence Workplace Policy. A sample
policy can be found at the OPDV website. The sample policy includes:
- Sample Language
- Guidelines for Employee Awareness
- Guidelines for Non-Discriminatory and Responsive Personnel Policies for Victimized Employees
- Workplace Safety Plans
- Accountability for Employees Who Are Offenders
- Provisions Regarding Firearms
- Training, and
- Management/Supervisory Responsibility
- Provide training to managers and supervisors on recognizing and responding to domestic violence in the workplace. In addition, all staff should be made aware of your company's domestic violence policy.
- Respond to all reported threats of violence and reports of harassment.
- Make informational materials on domestic violence available.
- Let employees know they will not lose their job simply for disclosing that they are victims of domestic violence.
For More Information
If you need assistance on addressing domestic violence in the workplace, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is available to provide technical assistance with policy and training to all public and private businesses/agencies in New York State. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Visit OPDV's Workplace web page.
- Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. 2005 National Telephone Survey. Internet on-line. (September 13, 2007).
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Survey of Workplace Violence Prevention. October, 2006.
- EDK Associates for The Body Shop. The Many Faces of Domestic Violence and Its Impact on the Workplace. New York. 1997.
- Maine Department of Labor. Impact of Domestic Violence Offenders on Occupational Safety & Health A Pilot Study. 2004.
- U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women. November, 2000. NCJ-183781.
- Burke, Donald. "When Employees are Vulnerable, Employers are, Too", National Law Journal, January 17, 2000.