Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Posted on May 16, 2018

An employer's first responsibility is to keep the workplace safe for all employees. You can help an employee who may be in a domestic violence situation keep his or her job and possibly gain enough strength to leave their abusive partner.

How to recognize when an employee might be in a domestic violence situation:

  • Unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Disclosure to other employees (even in a joking tone)
  • Fear
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Abuser calls or visits employee at work frequently
  • High absenteeism

What you can do to help:

  • Be supportive
  • Let the employee know that you are available when he or she is ready to talk
  • Be open and flexible with time-off requests pertaining to the employee's safety (moving out, attending court, etc.)
  • Encourage your employee to contact Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety at 1-888-378-7398 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233
  • Involve the employee in determining ways they can be more safe while at work

Tips to encourage safety at work:

  • Encourage the employee to save threatening email or voicemail messages as evidence
  • Make arrangement for the employee to consistently park near the building
  • Offer to have the employees calls screened and remove him or her from automated directories
  • Relocate the employee's work space to a more secure area
  • Obtain a restraining order that includes the work place - and keep a copy on hand
  • Provide a photo of the abuser to reception areas and/or security
  • Identify an emergency contact person in the event you are unable to contact the employee
  • Ask security to escort the employee to and from their vehicle