Domestic violence is playing out in the headlines via the disturbing video tape of Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiance Janay Palmer. Since that story, a slew of other cases of domestic abuse involving National Football League (NFL) players have surfaced, opening a national dialogue in the news, in social media and at the water cooler. Besides the issue of the abuse itself, the NFL is on the carpet for their handling of Rice and other cases. Many are asking if the NFL has addressed these instances with sufficient gravity.
The law firm Seyfarth Shaw reminds employers of the the cost and serious implications of domestic violence for employers in a simple infographic on Domestic Violence: Serious Implications for Employers. It illustrates the prevalence and cost of domestic violence in the workplace, as well as a reminder that several states have laws or provisions under laws that may apply to employees who are victims of domestic violence.
In addition, attorney Mark A. Lies, II discusses an employer’s “duty of care” in a one hour interview covering legal obligations of businesses to protect employees against this hazard. He explains laws governing what a business needs to know and do to prepare for and respond to a workplace violence threat by a domestic or intimate partner.
We would also remind of the important role that your EAP can and should play as a tool in addressing workplace violence.
One noteworthy recent legal development: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick just signed a law providing up to 15 days of leave for victims of domestic violence effective as of August 8, 2014. An employee notification clause creates a requirement for employers to notify employees of their rights under the Act.
(Click for a larger version at Seyfarth Shaw)
We’ve discussed our thoughts on domestic violence in the workplace on numerous occasions. Here are some of those related posts:
Domestic violence and the workplace
Employers have a key role in curbing domestic violence
When complex employee issues arise, ESI EAP offers member employers direct access to Certified Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHR) and senior clinical counselors. If you need an Employee Assistance Program give us a call: 800-535-4841.