Dv In The Workplace Slideshare


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Domestic violence affects the workplace in a variety of ways. It impacts safety, absenteeism, healthcare costs and lost productivity, to name a few areas.

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Dv In The Workplace Slideshare

  1. 1. Domestic Violence in the Workplace Presentation for BNG March 17, 2009 Red Lantern Group, LLC
  2. 2. Introduction • Jean M. Baker, J.D. • Red Lantern Group, LLC – Presentation and writing business – Legal issues in the workplace – General business (customer service, strategic planning, etc.) • Today’s presentation – Domestic Violence in the Workplace
  3. 3. What is Domestic Violence? • “Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners. The perpetrator does this as a means of achieving compliance from or control over his victim.”
  4. 4. What is Domestic Violence in the Workplace? • “Domestic Violence in the workplace. . .includes all behavior that interferes with an individual’s capability to safely and securely perform their duties at work. It includes all kind of conduct, ranging from harassing or repeated telephone calls or faxes (or e-mails) at work to unarmed and armed “show-ups” to homicide.
  5. 5. What About Conduct Occurring Outside the Workplace? • Domestic violence in the workplace also includes conduct which occurs outside of the work place, such as sleep deprivation and physical injuries (breaking fingers, etc.) which impact on an individual’s ability to perform [her] job.”
  6. 6. Stats – You Should Be Appalled • Murder is the number one cause of death in the workplace for women; 17% of those murders are a result of domestic violence • 74% of employed battered women are harassed at work. • Domestic violence caused 56% of them to be late for work at least five times/month. • 28% had to leave early at least four days a month • 54% missed at least three full days of work a month
  7. 7. Myths and Facts Myth Fact(s) • “Domestic violence is a • Businesses lose between $3 private, personal issue that and $5 billion annually for has no place in, or effect on, medical costs. the workplace. • Employers lose another $100 million in lost wages and lost work associated with domestic violence
  8. 8. Myths and Facts Myth Fact(s) • We have no financial • Current jury awards to liability beyond offering victims, co-workers and EAP services their estates range from $25,000 to several million dollars by employers who failed to properly address domestic violence in the workplace
  9. 9. Signs of Abuse • Increased absenteeism and/or reduced productivity • Bruises or physical complaints • Partner makes disruptive visits to the workplace • Lack of concentration
  10. 10. Signs of Abuse • Reports of the employee being abused • Employee shows signs of fear and/or withdrawal • Intermittent crying/anger when talking with partner on phone or in person • Pronounced mood disturbance
  11. 11. Signs Someone is Engaging in Domestic Abuse • Employee expresses attitude of domination and/or aggression towards partner or co- worker • Threatens or discusses threats to partner or children • Outbursts of anger when talking to partner
  12. 12. Signs Someone is Engaging in Domestic Abuse • Partner appears afraid of employee and becomes submissive in his presence • Employee has been accused of, or charged with, domestic violence
  13. 13. Policies and Protocol – Supportive Environment • What does it mean to be supportive? – Allow victim to report abuse without fear of retaliation or job loss. – Tell victim she does not deserve the abuse. – Help her find resources and be flexible in allowing time off to take care of issues related to domestic violence (e.g., court hearings, moving, etc.)
  14. 14. Policies and Protocol – Supportive Environment • What should not be done? – Do not blame victim – Do not tell victim what to do; allow her to make her own decisions. She knows her abuser and her situation better than you do. – Do not make conditions based upon her compliance (e.g., “if you don’t leave him, we will not help you)
  15. 15. Policies and Protocol – Training (All Employees) – How to recognize domestic violence – How to address – Confidentiality • If you learn of abuse, do not tell others – Exception – you may be able to disclose to HR, Security or a manager, but check with policy and try to obtain victim’s consent • Don’t spread unfounded rumors – bruises don’t always mean domestic violence
  16. 16. But Why Doesn’t She Just Leave? – Fear for her life or the life of her child(ren) – Economic issues – Feels responsible for keeping family together – Wants the violence to stop, not the relationship – Fear of not being believed/supported – Blames self for abuse – Partner threatens suicide if she leaves – Partner promises to stop; begs her to stay – Any lack of responsiveness in law enforcement/judicial system
  17. 17. What if the Employee is the Perpetrator, Not the Victim? – Discuss problem if it’s been disclosed, or if violence committed at work • Be careful! This may result in a dangerous situation for the victim. – Maintain confidentiality – Explain how Domestic Violence affects work performance • Calling to harass partner
  18. 18. What if the Employee is the Perpetrator, Not the Victim? – “Although you are an important part of the team, we will not condone or tolerate that behavior” – Refer to batterer’s treatment counseling • Not anger management; usually one year in duration – Reiterate policy against workplace violence (including domestic violence) – Call police if he violates restraining order or is violent at work.
  19. 19. What Not to Do • Don’t be taken in by excuses – Batterers can be very convincing, and very manipulative • Don’t blame the victim, or allow batterer to blame victim • Don’t assume it won’t happen again, regardless of his promises • Don’t suggest couples counseling – Not a relationship problem!
  20. 20. What Can Security Do? • Include the victim in Assessment • Good documentation • Obtain copies of any restraining orders, etc. • Obtain photo of batterer and keep copy at reception desk • Secure building; train employees to not let in anyone without proper i.d.
  21. 21. What Can Security Do? • Victim consultation/assistance – Navigating criminal justice system – Obtaining a temporary restraining order – Finding an attorney – Dealing with telephone, mail or e-mail harassment – Safety when entering/leaving the worksite – Use of technology to increase safety (e.g., cell phones) – What to do if confronted in workplace by batterer – What to do if victim sees batterer trying to enter workplace.
  22. 22. Summary • Domestic Violence is about controlling the victim using whatever level of violence is necessary. • Employers can play a big role in stopping domestic violence by providing appropriate support to the victim and demonstrating a “no tolerance” policy towards domestic violence. • In doing so, employer also improves bottom line.
  23. 23. Contact Information • Red Lantern Group, LLC • President - Jean M. Baker, J.D. • 515.327.5966 • jbaker@redlanternllc.com Thank you!