Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Definition

Domestic Violence in the Workplace is any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting. Examples of workplace violence include:

  • Threats or obscene phone calls
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment of any nature (i.e. being followed; being verbally harassed).

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UNC Health Care Domestic Violence Team

The UNC Health Care Domestic Violence Team is composed of Employee Relations, Hospital Police and The Beacon Program. Each department provides expertise that will help employees and their supervisor cope with situations of domestic violence in the workplace. It is hospital policy that all employees are required to report to their supervisor if they have a current Domestic Violence Protective Order.

This will trigger a Domestic Violence Team meeting with the employee and supervisor. All efforts are made to keep the employee’s situation confidential unless the risk level is high enough that it would be unsafe not to inform the employee’s coworkers. The team assesses the risk to the employee and the institution and makes recommendations for the employee to follow.

The employee or supervisor may contact any of these departments if they have questions or concerns with any other situations of domestic violence in the workplace. These departments will gladly provide advice.

Are you a UNC Health Care manager? See this powerpoint presentation on your responsibilities and how to contact the Domestic Violence Team.

Beacon Program Services

  • Evaluation
  • Counseling
  • Support
  • Information on legal issues and the affects of abuse
  • Referrals to health care providers
  • Referrals to community agencies
  • Follow-up sessions
  • How to handle problems after you leave the relationship

Signs of Domestic Violence in the Workplace

  • Changes in behavior and work performance
  • Increased or unexplained absences or arriving late
  • Harassing phone calls from the abuser
  • Bruises or injuries that are unexplained or come with explanations that just do not add up

Impact of abusers on the workplace

  • Making physical or sexual assaults or threats against the victim/employee, children, or co-workers; threats of suicide; threats to take the children or destroy property.
  • Making the victim account for every minute of the day (i.e. abuser may follow employee or make frequent phone calls to monitor whereabouts)
  • Canceling appointments with victim's health care provider or sabotaging attempts to attend appointments by not providing childcare or transportation
  • Controlling use of sick/vacation time (i.e. abuser may have victim explain the sick/vacation time used, as reported on their pay stub)
  • Making employee/victim late for work or sabotaging their performance (i.e. abuser may keep victim up all night, destroy professional clothes, sabotage childcare arrangements, or undermine training/advancement)
  • Isolating employee/victim from co-workers, friends, and family so that there is no support system other than the abuser

      44% of full-time employed adults report they personally                              experience domestic violence's effect in their workplace