October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I wanted to alert employers to this fact since domestic violence may have a direct impact on your workplaces. This is a good time to make employees aware of benefits the employer provides which may be of assistance to victims.
Several years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published “Questions and Answers: The Application of Title VII and the ADA to Applicants or Employees Who Experience Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking.” If you have not read this publication, I would highly recommend it. The publication is eight (8) pages in length and gives examples of how domestic or dating violence may have an effect in the workplace. I think it will be very informative and increase your awareness of how your business could be impacted. It brings issues to the forefront that you may never have considered.
We need to remember that both sexes are subjects of domestic or dating violence. Victims may be of any race, religion, national origin or age. Educational or socio-economic background is not a factor in determining whether there has been domestic or dating violence. Domestic or dating violence may occur at any time to anyone.
Employers need to be vigilant if they are aware of an employee leaving an abusive relationship. Many physical attacks on victims occur at the workplace since that is one place the abuser knows how and when to find the victim. Security may need to be notified to be on the lookout for the abuser in order to avoid a confrontation. Being open with employees and encouraging them to share with someone in human resources if they are victims could be vital in avoiding an incident. And providing assistance for the victim could help cut down absenteeism and poor productivity.
Please consider providing information to all of your employees about domestic and dating violence during this month especially stressing how they may get help. If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (502) 553-7648.