A study of domestic violence survivors by The Commonwealth Fund in New York * found that 74% of employed battered women were harassed by their partner while they were at work. Homicide was the second leading cause of death on the job for women in 2000**
Domestic violence does not stay at home. If follows the victim to the workplace where a woman is harassed by threatening phone calls, absent due to injuries or loss of productivity due to anxiety and stress. While anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.***
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to promote the safety and health of America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health.
What Should Employers Do?
Provide education and training to all employees regarding domestic violence
Develop a policy that specifically addresses domestic violence
Allow victims of domestic violence to take time off from work to appear in court, seek legal assistance and get help to insure their safety. Note: Many states have laws mandating that employers allow victims time off to attend court proceedings. Check the law for your state.
Assist victims in obtaining restraining/protection orders