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Understanding the need for a domestic violence policy in the workplace


WELCOME Understanding the need for a domestic violence policy in the workplace January 2008 Deadly Daycare Center Shooting Fox 4, WFTX The Cape Coral Police ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding the need for a domestic violence policy in the workplace

  • Understanding the need for a domestic violence
    policy in the workplace

January 2008Deadly Daycare Center Shooting
  • Fox 4, WFTX
  • The Cape Coral Police Department has charged
    44-year-old Robert Harold Dunn with first degree
  • murder. He is in custody. No children were
    physically hurt. Emergency workers treated some
  • children for blood spatters. Police are accusing
    Dunn of shooting and killing 36-year-old
  • Lozier at the Bobbie Noonan Child Care Center on
    the 1200 block of Cape Coral Parkway before
  • 445 PM on Friday. Lozier was an employee at
    Bobbie Noonan. Dunn and Lozier both live in Cape
  • Coral. Dunn and Lozier have a daughter together,
    who happened to be at the daycare center when
  • her mother was shot. "This is something we always
    feared would happen. It happened today,"
  • admits Deputy Chief Jay Murphy with the Cape PD.
  • According to the arrest report, Dunn was drunk
    when he went to the Bobbie Noonan Child Care
  • Center. Police say Dunn told them he did not
    remember shooting and killing his estranged wife.
  • report also explains that Christine Dunn filed
    for a restraining order against Robert, but it
  • denied. Administrators at Bobbie Noonan admit
    that the couple had domestic violence
  • problems and for a time the day care center was
    locked down daily to keep Robert out.

December 2008Man accused in wife's shooting
fooled cops
  • Orlando Sentinel
  • LEESBURG - A few hours before authorities say
    Douglas Skipworth opened fire on his
  • estranged wife in a drugstore Saturday, he
    convinced police that he posed no immediate
  • danger.
  • His barber had alerted police Saturday morning
    that Skipworth, 54, was upset about his
  • crumbling marriage and had hinted at suicide.
    Come on, guys," Skipworth told officers
  • dispatched to his home. "I know you're just doing
    your job, but I'm fine."
  • His wife, Jayne Skipworth, 52, was at work in
    Marion County, where she was the manager of
  • the CVS drugstore in Summerfield. He admitted he
    had been crying and drinking but seemed
  • upbeat and coherent, according to the police
    report. Officers frisked him and, finding no
  • or cause to commit him, they left.
  • Both officers who spoke with Skipworth concluded
    he did not meet the Baker-Act criteria for an
  • emergency, involuntary mental-health commitment,
    said Lt. Rob Hicks, Leesburg police
  • spokesman. But at 3 p.m., about 3 1/2 hours
    later, Skipworth, a former police officer, shot
  • wife in the chest, knee and ankle inside the
    store and then calmly drove away in his pickup,
  • said Capt. James Pogue, Marion County sheriff's

September 2009Woman shot dead by estranged
husband at work
  • Ocala.com
  • Marta Torres was afraid of her husband, so much
    so that she moved from her home in Fort Myers to
  • hide out with a friend in Ocala. But Elliott
    Torres found her, Marta told Ocala police on Aug.
    23 when
  • she stopped at the police department to alert
    them that she might be in danger.
  • On Tuesday, police say, Elliott Torres confronted
    his estranged wife at her workplace in northeast
  • Ocala, shot her to death and then turned the gun
    on himself.
  • According to investigators, Marta was working at
    Davis Supply, Inc, 2300 N.E. 8th Road, when
  • Torres approached her in the driveway and talked
    to her briefly about reconciling their broken
  • relationship. Moments later, he began blasting
    away with a 12-gauge shotgun. Marta Torres was
  • struck at least twice and died before Elliott
    Torres put the gun to his own head and pulled the
  • Adam Judy, who works nearby at CMI Direct
    Marketing, said he was outside when he heard a
  • gunshot, followed by a woman screaming, No! He
    said he heard another shot, followed by the same
  • voice, yelling and screaming. Judy said he
    heard a third shot, then a fourth, then silence.
    He said as
  • he was driving past the area on his way to lunch,
    he saw what appeared to be the body of a man
  • in the driveway at the business. Marta and
    Elliott Torres leave behind five boys ranging in
    age from

October 2009Brevard woman's death brings
domestic violence issue into focus
  • Florida Today
  • Yolanda Garvin-Williams' workplace seemed like
    her one safe zone -- safe from abuse at home and
  • from her estranged husband, Jeremiah Williams,
    who is now charged with her murder. It was not
  • on June 8, the Monday morning when the
    30-year-old certified nursing assistant was
    fatally shot in the
  • parking lot at Parrish Medical Center in
    Titusville. Workers and Parrish executives
    wanted to know
  • why.
  • "This is a really close-knit department," said
    Kathy Myer, Garvin-Williams' supervisor and the
  • of women's services at Parrish, who knew her
    employee to be cheerful, caring and quiet. "It
  • devastating when it happened because everybody
    sat back and said, 'Boy, what did we miss?'
  • "Yolanda never expressed, never discussed, never
    even revealed in her mannerisms that she
  • was a victim of Domestic violence," said George
    Mikitarian, Parrish president and CEO. The
  • shocking death inspired Parrish to implement
    mandatory domestic violence education for its
  • employees, offer financial help and emergency
    transportation and aspire to become a haven for
  • victims. A public forum on the topic will take
    place there at 6 p.m. Thursday.

January 2010Police arrest man accused of
threatening wife, son
  • TBO.com
  • TAMPA - Investigators say they have captured a
    man who threatened to kill his son, forcing a
  • lockdown Monday at the teen's high school.
  • Carlos Hernandez, 36, of 9611 Laurel Ledge Drive,
    also threatened his estranged wife at her
  • workplace, police say. He was arrested Monday
    night on charges of attempted kidnapping,
  • assault with a firearm, battery, tampering with a
    witness and violation of an injunction.
  • On Monday morning, the Hillsborough County
    Sheriff's Office served Hernandez with a domestic
  • violence injunction. Hernandez then drove to
    Quest Diagnostics, 4225 E. Fowler Ave., and
    waited for
  • his wife to arrive at work.
  • Hernandez confronted her with a pistol in his
    waistband, police said, and threatened to kill
    her. He
  • grabbed her and tried to force her into his
    pickup, but she escaped. Another employee saw
  • confrontation in the parking lot and said he was
    going to call police. Hernandez fled, police
  • A family friend said Hernandez had called to say
    he was driving to Riverview High School to kill
  • son. The school was placed in modified lockdown
    as a precaution, meaning law enforcement officers

February 2010Killer stalked woman for a year
  • Newlywed was former waitress at Hooters
  • By Kaustuv Basu, FLORIDA TODAY
  • Alissa Blanton, a 23-year-old Port St. John
    newlywed who once worked at a Merritt Island
    Hooters, was
  • shot and killed in an Orlando homicide-suicide,
    initiated by a Cocoa Beach man who stalked her
  • more than a year, police said.
  • The Orlando Sentinel and the woman's mother
    confirmed Blanton died in the Monday incident
  • played out on Orlando's Research Parkway near an
    ATT Wireless Call Center, where she worked.
  • Her husband tried to save her life after the
  • Orange County sheriff's investigators said the
    killer was Roger Troy of Cocoa Beach, the same
  • she alleged in court papers had showed up at her
    home, followed her to the beach and confronted
  • outside her workplace. Troy shot and killed
    himself, police said.
  • Blanton most recently lived in the 6300 block of
    Irving Road in Port St. John with her husband,
  • They moved in late last year. Court records show
    Blanton filed a petition on Feb. 1, asking for
  • protection from a 61-year-old Cocoa Beach man who
    she said had been stalking her. In a 72-page

June 2010Florida restaurant shooting leaves 4
dead, 3 wounded
  • (CNN) -- A gunman fatally shot four women and
    wounded three others in a
  • metropolitan Miami restaurant Sunday night,
    before turning the gun on himself, police
  • said.
  • Mark Overton, the police chief of Hialeah --
    where the shooting took place said the
  • incident most likely stemmed from a domestic
  • The shooter first argued with a woman he was in a
    relationship with in the parking lot of
  • Yoyito restaurant. Then he went into a restaurant
    where he confronted another person he
  • knew and began shooting, Overton said.
  • A total of seven women were shot. Four died, one
    sustained life-threatening injuries and
  • the other two were in critical condition, police
    said. Overton said the suspect knew some
  • of the victims, but "some may have been in the
    wrong place at the wrong time.
  • The shooter left the scene in a car belonging to
    one of the victims and was later found
  • dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police

Impact of Domestic Violence on Employers and the

What is the connection?
  • Abuse at home impacts job performance and
    healthcare costs
  • Harassment interrupts victims at work
  • Violence spills over at work

(No Transcript)
Facts and Statistics
  • According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
    over 1,300 murders were committed by a spouse or
    intimate partners. These numbers equate to nearly
    four murders a day.
  • More women are injured by their partners than by
    rape, auto accidents and muggings combined!
  • The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that
    intimate partners -- husbands, ex-husbands, and
    current and former boyfriends -- commit violent
    crimes against approximately 937,000 women every
  • Over 25 of women have been victims of violence
    perpetrated by an intimate partner in their
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
    homicide is the leading cause of death for women
    on the job, and 20 of those murders were at the
    hands of their partners.

Facts and Statistics
  • It is estimated domestic violence costs employers
    3 to 5 billion a year in lost days of work and
    reduced productivity.
  • The aggregate annual cost to victims of domestic
    violence is about 8.8 billion, or 67 billion
    when pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
    are included.

Facts and Statistics
  • As many as 50 of domestic violence victims have
    lost a job due, at least in part, to the domestic
  • 96 of employed domestic violence victims
    experience problems at work due to their abuse or

Facts and Statistics
  • One study found that 74 of employed battered
    women reported being harassed while at work by
    their abusive partners in person or by telephone.
  • Studies of battered women have found that 50 to
    85 of abused women missed work because of abuse
    over 60 reported arriving late due to abuse.

Facts and Statistics
  • Most of the 70 billion in costs associated with
    violence were from lost productivity (64.4
    billion), with the remaining 5.6 billion spent
    on medical care.
  • Americans suffer 2.2 million medically treated
    injuries due to interpersonal violence annually,
    at a cost of 37 billion (33 billion in
    productivity losses, 4 billion in medical
  • People aged 15 to 44 years comprise 44 percent of
    the population, but account for nearly 75 percent
    of injuries and 83 percent of costs due to
    interpersonal violence.
  • The average cost per case for a non-fatal assault
    was 57,209 in lost productivity and 23,353 in
    medical costs.

Employment and Domestic Violence Matrix
  • Able to
  • Move out
  • Have a vehicle
  • Rent an apartment
  • Get a hotel
  • Have a cell phone
  • Hire a lawyer
  • Change phone, locks, et cetera

  • Access to
  • Programs and services
  • Healthcare
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Security
  • Occupational Health
  • Wellness Programs

Job Skills
  • Ability to be hired
  • Ability to find job in another location
  • Access to promotions and advancement
  • Motivate employer to keep victim at work
  • Problem solving skills

Rebuke Traditional Roles
  • A womans position is to stay at home to raise
    the kids, do the cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • A mans role is to make the money.
  • A working woman still is expected to do the
    household chores.

Social Interactions
  • Making friends
  • Support structure
  • Witness to other forms of relationships
  • Finding another partner
  • Different interpretation of self

  • Positive self image
  • Expecting more for yourself
  • Expecting respect
  • Finding courage and conviction to leave abusive
  • Counteracts guilt and doubt

Applicable Employment Laws
Employment Law
  • Safety
  • OSHA
  • Workers compensation
  • Civil Suits for negligence or wrongful death
  • Employment Rights
  • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Americans with Disability Act
  • Title VII Discrimination
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  • Wrongful Discharge Suits

Americans with Disabilities Act
  • An individual with a physical or mental
    impairment that substantially limits a major
    life activity
  • Physical injuries
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Employer must make reasonable accommodations.
  • Does not apply to abusers at work

Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Time off for employees who suffer from physical
    or emotional trauma
  • Allows up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave
  • Also applies to family members of the employee
    who may be victims.

Title VII -Discrimination
  • Discrimination against employee based on gender
  • Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment
  • Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson
  • Courts landmark 1986 decision outlawing sexual
  • Found the bank liable for allowing a hostile
    working environment
  • Plaintiff and defendant had a prior intimate

Leave Benefits
  • In Florida (Florida Statute 741.313), there are
    protections for victims who take time off to
    attend to their situation.
  • To obtain a restraining order
  • To go to court to testify
  • To work with law enforcement
  • Seek counseling or medical treatment

Public Policy Violation Apessos v. Memorial
Press Group
  • Assaulted female told supervisor she needed to
    take a day off to go to court and change her
    locks. When she returned to work the next day,
    she was fired.
  • Provides the plaintiff with the chance to
    continue with a civil suit against her employer.
  • "The public policy interests here are primal, not
    complex the protection of a victim from physical
    and emotional violence and the protection of a
    victim's livelihood. A victim should not have to
    seek physical safety at the cost of employment."

Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • General duty law
  • Must provide a work environment free from
    recognized hazards that cause death or serious
    physical harm.

Gantt vs. Security USA
  • Maryland case of security guard assaulted by
  • Court ruled that she could sue employer for
    intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Company Liability
  • If an employee commits violence at work, the
    employer may be liable for
  • Negligent hiring
  • Negligent supervision
  • Negligent retention

True Prevention
  • Create a Healthy Environment
  • Respect
  • Dignity
  • Equality
  • Fairness

Organizational Development
Organizational Preparedness
  • Develop Policy and Procedures
  • Develop Training and Awareness
  • Establish a Healthy Environment
  • Appoint a Champion

Crisis Team Responsibilities
Crisis Management Team
  • HR Manager
  • Employee Relations
  • Safety and Health
  • Legal Counsel
  • Security
  • EAP
  • Line Supervisor
  • Occupational Health Nurse

DV Policy
  • A Policy Should Include
  • A purpose or mission statement
  • A list of definitions
  • A description of prohibited actions
  • A description of management support measures
  • A process for reporting concerns
  • A non-retaliation and confidentiality clause
  • A list of responsibilities by position or

DV Policy Pointers
  • Workplace Violence (comprehensive)
  • Support and Protections
  • Off-Duty Conduct

  • (Business Name) Policy on Domestic Violence
  • (Business Name) is committed to the health and
    safety of our associates.
  • Domestic Violence is a leading cause of injury to
    women in this country. The purpose of
  • our Domestic Violence Workplace policy is to
    raise awareness of domestic violence
  • provide support, when appropriate, to employees
    experiencing domestic violence give
  • guidance to management on addressing the
    occurrence of domestic violence and its
  • affects on the workplace and create a safer work
  • Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive
    behavior that is used by one person in an
  • intimate relationship to gain power and control
    over another. Domestic violence includes
  • physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and
    financial abuse. Some examples of
  • coercive behaviors are the following hitting,
    punching, shoving, stabbing, shooting,
  • slapping, threatening behavior, name calling,
    humiliating in front of others, controlling
  • what one wears, says, and does, controlling the
    financial decisions, stalking, destroying
  • or attempting to destroy property, and using
    children to control.

DV Policy
  • Domestic violence occurs between people of
    all racial, economic, educational, and religious
    backgrounds, in heterosexual and same sex
    relationships, living together or separately,
    married or unmarried, in short-term or long-term
    relationships. The batterer, perpetrator, or
    "abuser" is the individual who commits an act of
    domestic violence as defined above. The survivor
    or "victim" is the individual who is the subject
    of an act of domestic violence.
  • Education and Support for Associates who are
    Victims of Domestic Violence
  • (Business Name) will attempt to make available
    appropriate information, referrals, and resources
    to victims and other employees. (Business Name)
    will provide support through our Employee
    Assistance Program, our Security and Human
    Resources personnel, as well as, referrals to
    community agencies. We encourage all employees
    to take advantage of these resources.

DV Policy
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • We have an Employee Assistance Program that has
    professionals trained to handle
  • domestic violence cases. These professionals
    provide counseling, support, and referrals.
  • In addition, our Employee Assistance Program is a
    resource for associates wanting to
  • learn more about domestic violence or find out
    how to help a friend, family or coworker.
  • To contact these resources call the following
  • Employee Assistance Program ____________________
  • Human Resources and Corporate Security Personnel
  • (Business Name) Human Resources and Corporate
    Security personnel are also a resource for
  • associates. When appropriate, available, and
    permissible, personnel in these departments can
  • victims in a number of ways, including but not
    limited to
  • Developing a safety plan for the workplace
  • Assigning special parking spots
  • Escorting people to and from their cars or other
    points of transportation
  • Screening telephone calls and removing an
    associate's name from automated telephone
  • Working with local law enforcement to enforce
    restraining orders on company property

DV Policy
  • Relocating an associate's workspace to a more
    secure area
  • Having paychecks delivered to another location
  • Changing benefits to the victim's own name
  • Saving any threatening emails
  • Allowing time off so that associates can seek
    safety and protection, attend court appearances,
    arrange for new housing, attend counseling,
    receive medical care or take care of other
    appropriate matters
  • Arranging for flexible hours and short-term
    leaves of absence with the guarantee in most
    cases of a position upon return
  • Corporate Security is available twenty-four (24)
    hours a day and seven (7) days a week. Any
    communication with Human Resources and Corporate
    Security will be kept confidential to the fullest
    extent possible. Others will be informed only on
    a need to know basis for the security of the
    victim, other associates, and the workplace
  • To contact these resources call the following
    numbers Corporate Security ______________ and
    Human Resources _________________

DV Policy
  • Community Agencies
  • (Business Name) encourages victims and other
    associates to contact community
  • agencies for resources and referrals. Many
    provide free services for safety planning,
  • counseling, support groups, shelter, and legal
    assistance Resources are available
  • twenty-four (24) hours a day and seven (7) days a
  • Orange County
  • Center for Victims of Crime 1-800-374-2255
  • Harbor House of Central Florida 407-886-2856
  • Central Florida Helpline 407-333-9028
  • UCF Victim Services 407-823-5555
  • Victim Services Center 407-497-6701
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
  • (Business Name) will not discriminate against
    domestic violence victims or associates
  • perceived as domestic violence victims in hiring,
    firing, staffing, or other terms,
  • conditions, or privileges of employment.

DV Policy
  • (Business Name) is aware that domestic violence
    victims may have performance
  • problems such as chronic absenteeism, tardiness
    or lower productivity as a result of
  • domestic violence. When addressing performance
    and safety issues, (Business Name)
  • will make reasonable efforts to consider all
    aspects of the associate's situation and, to the
  • extent possible, utilize reasonable options to
    help resolve the performance and/or safety
  • problems. If reasonable attempts to resolve the
    performance and/or safety problems are
  • unsuccessful, (Business Name) may have to take
    appropriate action.
  • B. Temporary or Permanent Protective/Restraining
  • Any associate who obtains a temporary or
    permanent order of protection from a court,
  • which lists (Business Name) locations as
    protected areas, must provide Corporate
  • Security with a copy of the petition and court
    order. In addition, the associate must
  • provide Corporate Security with the following
    information on the abuser a photograph
  • picture or physical description, description of
    automobile and license plate number, and
  • any other information Corporate Security needs
    for the security of the workplace.

DV Policy
  • C. Employees who Commit Acts or Threats of
    Domestic Violence
  • Any employee who commits acts/threats of domestic
    violence at the workplace or while
  • using workplace resources, will be subject to
    disciplinary action, which may include but
  • is not limited to dismissal. If appropriate, law
    enforcement will be contacted, which may
  • result in arrest, criminal charges, and/or
    prosecution. Workplace resources include, but
  • are not limited to, phones, fax machines, e-mail,
    mail, automobiles, pagers, office
  • supplies, and photocopy machines.
  • Some job positions may give an employee access to
    certain types of information or
  • resources. If that employee intentionally uses
    this access to enable an abuser to
  • harm/contact a victim, then that employee and
    abuser will be subject to disciplinary
  • action, which may include but is not limited to
    dismissal. If appropriate, law
  • enforcement will be contacted, which may result
    in arrest, criminal charges, and/or
  • prosecution.

DV Policy
  • (Business Name) recognizes that abusers also need
    assistance and
  • resources. We will provide, when appropriate,
    referrals to our
  • Employee Assistance Program and/or Batterers'
    Intervention Programs,
  • defined as programs designed to eliminate
    violence in intimate
  • relationships, stop other forms of abusive
    behavior and increase victim
  • safety.
  • D. Law Enforcement and Legislation
  • (Business Name) will cooperate to the fullest
    extent legally possible
  • with law enforcement and other appropriate
    government agencies. In
  • addition, this policy shall be interpreted and
    applied in accordance with
  • all applicable local, state or federal laws.

Training and Awareness
  • Policy Dissemination
  • Training
  • Awareness
  • Posters and flyers
  • Brown bag luncheons
  • Newsletter blurbs and envelope stuffers

A Champion
  • Someone who will ensure that the program
  • will be carried out faithfully and completely.

Impact of Violence
  • Damage to Property
  • Loss of Production
  • Impact to Public Image
  • Workers Compensation
  • Potential Liability
  • Human Loss

How Employers can Make a Difference
Refer Services
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Domestic Violence Advocacy Agency
  • Legal Aid
  • Health Services
  • Including mental health
  • Social Services

Administrative Support
  • Provide time off
  • Make changes to personnel information
  • Demonstrate understanding in performance

Time off
  • Options to consider are
  • Flex scheduling
  • Sick leave
  • Shared time
  • Compensatory time
  • Vacation leave
  • Leave without pay
  • A few days to several weeks - FMLA

Change Personnel Information
  • Contact information
  • Emergency contact
  • New location or number
  • Strict confidentiality
  • Beneficiary information
  • 401 K
  • Retirement plans
  • Health and life insurance
  • Wage Allocation
  • Eliminate direct deposit to joint checking account

Making a Differencein the Community
  • Workforce and company is integrated with the
    local community.
  • Problems in the workplace will not be resolved
    until they are addressed in the community.
  • There are Public Relations benefits of such

Next Steps
  • Adopt a policy
  • Revise workplace violence policy
  • Train your workforce
  • Maintain a healthy environment
  • Follow up support from Harbor House and other
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