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Workplace Violence Prevention and Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Workplace Violence Prevention and Domestic Violence in the Workplace

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Workplace Violence Prevention and Domestic Violence in the Workplace

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  1. Workplace Violence Preventionand Domestic Violencein the Workplace

  2. Training goals • Define Workplace Violence (WPV) and Domestic Violence in the Workplace • Handout and review the policies and the change in the law • Explain Employer/Employee responsibilities • Workplace practice controls • What to do if confronted by WPV • If WPV is reported, what happens?

  3. Workplace Violence Definition (Hand-out policy)

  4. Definition • Workplace violence is any physical assault or acts of aggressive behavior occurring where a public employee performs any work-related duty in the course of his or her employment including but not limited to: • (i) An attempt or threat, whether verbal or physical, to inflict physical injury upon an employee; • (ii) Any intentional display of force which would give an employee reason to fear or expect bodily harm; • (iii) Intentional and wrongful physical contact with a person without his or her consent that entails some injury; • (iv) Stalking an employee with the intent of causing fear of material harm to the physical safety and health of such employee when such stalking has arisen through and in the course of employment.

  5. Workplace Violence Policy Statement: • ESF is committed to providing a safe working environment and will promptly respond to threats, acts of violence, and acts of aggression that occur in the workplace. • ESF prohibits any act or threat of violence made in the workplace. No person may engage in violent conduct or make threats of violence, implied or direct, on ESF facilities or in connection with College business. ESF requires that any such threat or act be reported. • No person, without legal authority, may carry, possess or use any dangerous weapon on College property • Any violation of this College policy will be met with the strongest possible sanction appropriate for the circumstance.

  6. Employee responsibilities • Ensure familiarity with College policies and procedures relating to workplace violence prevention • Follow all policies and procedures • Report incidents and new risks quickly

  7. Employer responsibilities • Assess risks of workplace violence • Provide general training on WPVP to all employees • Monitor and document progress and incidents • Evaluate the effectiveness of the program

  8. Risk factors Working late night or early morning hours;Exchanging money with the public;Working alone or in small numbers;Uncontrolled access to the workplace; andAreas of previous security problems.

  9. Practical tips on staying safe at work Working late/early/alone or in small numbers • Move car closer to building after hours • Keep emergency numbers handy • Lock office door when alone • Tell someone where you are • Keep cell phone charged, on and handy • Get escort to car or use buddy system • Lock car door when leaving • Have car key ready • Park under lights

  10. Handling money • Barrier between you and the customers • Do not leave money visible to customers • Do not keep large amounts on hand

  11. Practical tips on staying safe at work Safety outside • Be aware – pay attention to surroundings • Walk confidently • Conceal valuables

  12. Possible signs of distress • Direct or veiled threats of harm • Intimidating, belligerent, or other inappropriate or aggressive behavior • Numerous conflicts with supervisors and other employees • Bringing a weapon to the workplace, brandishing a weapon in the workplace, making inappropriate references to guns, or fascination with weapons

  13. Possible signs of distress – (Continued) • Statements indicating desperation (over family, financial, and other personal problems) to the point of contemplating suicide. • Drug/alcohol abuse. • Extreme changes in behavior. • 1Identified by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, (Profiling and Behavior Assessment Unit in Dealing with Workplace Violence: A Guide for Agency Planners by the United States Office of Personnel Management, Workforce Relations, February 1998

  14. Signs of distress in the classroom • Extreme changes in behavior (Hand-out)

  15. Signs of crisis • Hostility, aggression, violence • Garbled or slurred speech • Loss of contact with reality • Suicidal thoughts with plans or methods • Homicidal thoughts Call University Police 470-6666

  16. Reducing the risks • If threatened, call University police 470-6666 (use blue light phone) or 911 • Seek backup from a colleague • Refer students to Student Counseling Service • Report incidents with students to Dean of Student Life and Experiential Learning 470-6658 • Report concerns to supervisor, HR, EAP • Practice good active listening skills • Behave in a calm, friendly, helpful manner

  17. Defusing a threatening situation • Stay calm • Communicate respect • Listen to understand • Cooperate • Aim for a plan • Look after yourself

  18. Recap Employee Responsibilities under the Law • If you witness or are a victim of workplace violence, YOU MUST REPORT it to University Police.

  19. Employer responsibilities under the law • Assess risks of workplace violence • Provide general training on WPVP to all employees • Monitor and document progress and incidents • Evaluate the effectiveness of the program

  20. What happens once it’s reported? • UPD will determine if a crime has been committed. They will then contact HR office • HR and/or UPD will conduct an investigation • HR will contact the supervisor of the employee who violated the WPV policy. • Supervisor will address the behavior with the employee • HR will follow up with the victim to ensure the case is settled to the satisfaction of the victim and to ensure no retaliation

  21. Questions?

  22. Domestic ViolenceHand-out policy

  23. Definition • Domestic Violence: A pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.

  24. Domestic violence – who is affected? Domestic violence happens between intimate partners, who: • Are married or were once married • Are living together or lived together in the past • Have children together • Are dating or have dated in the past Domestic violence victims are usually women, but men can also be victims. It may happen in same- sex and opposite-sex relationships

  25. 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

  26. Important Facts You Should Know:(Continued) • 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

  27. Sources 1.Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence.2005 National Telephone Survey. Internet on-line. Available from (September 13, 2007). 2.Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Survey of Workplace Violence Prevention. October, 2006.3.EDK Associates for The Body Shop. The Many Faces of Domestic Violence and Its Impact on the Workplace. New York. 1997.4.Maine Department of Labor. Impact of Domestic Violence Offenders on Occupational Safety & HealthA Pilot Study. 2004.5.U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women. November, 2000. NCJ-183781.6.Burke, Donald. "When Employees are Vulnerable, Employers are, Too", National Law Journal, January 17, 2000.

  28. Signs of domestic violence • Visible injuries • Illnesses – especially stress-related ones • Problems related to other issues, eg family, alcohol, drugs, mental health issues • Poor work performance or employment history • On-the-job harassment by the abuser The only way to know is to ask. Try: “Is anything happening at home that is causing difficulties?” But be prepared to respond helpfully

  29. Why doesn’t the victim leave? • The victim feels powerless or inadequate • The victim fears discovery – getting caught and punished • The victim fears no-one will believe him/her • The victim not sure where to go for help • The victim doesn’t want to take her children away from their home • The victim fears disapproval or lack of support • The victim feels ashamed • The abuser may control all the financial resources • The victim wants the abuse to stop, but doesn’t want the relationship to end And many, many more reasons

  30. Where to get help (Hand-out) • Local agencies • Office of Human Resources • EAP coordinators • Union representatives • College domestic violence contacts

  31. Personnel Policies Employees will be subject to disciplinary actions and referral to appropriate authorities if they: • Use College resources or time to abuse an intimate partner • Commit an act of domestic violence from or at the workplace or from any location while on state business • Use their job-related authority to abuse their victim, or assist perpetrators of domestic violence in locating a victim or in perpetrating an act of domestic violence

  32. Employer Responsibilities Agency shall inform employees that New York State law prohibits insurance companies and health maintenance organizations from discriminating against domestic violence victims. Agency shall offer domestic violence awareness activities such as training and other health and wellness programs.

  33. Employer Responsibilities • Referrals shall be made to domestic violence programs located on the OPDV website at Additional referrals may be made to best meet the needs of the employee. • Agency shall include information on domestic violence awareness and services in written materials provided to new employees and as part of new employee orientation.

  34. Employer Responsibilities The College will take appropriate consideration of domestic violence in all aspects of a victim’s work situation, including: • Requests for leave, FMLA and sickness absence • Appointment to a position • Transfers/Promotions • Disciplinary cases • Location of work site • Allocation of duties and responsibilities • Termination or voluntary separation • Workplace violence prevention measures • Confidentiality of employee information • Access to benefits

  35. Questions?