Workplace Violence is an Unfortunate Reality: Is Your Company Prepared?

(PRWeb) November 29, 2006 -- The news is littered with stories of violence occurring at businesses, frequently due to the fact that one of the employees is a victim of intimate partner violence and his/her perpetrator makes the violence public by acting outside of the home. Several states are now examining how to motivate the private sector to adopt workplace policies on domestic violence and institute awareness and training programs at their worksites. This is the wave of the future and one day soon will more than likely become mandatory for all companies.

Research demonstrates that domestic violence affects performance and costs companies a lot of money when the support is not in place to assist employees. At the other spectrum, ill preparation can mean the loss of lives. Implementing and abiding by policies are a cost-effective means of addressing a pervasive problem in workforces.

Lauren Litton of I.S.P. Consulting says there are now model policies to follow. A few recommended policies include:

* Prohibiting discrimination against employees because they are victims of domestic or sexual violence.
* Establishing confidential means for reporting domestic or sexual violence.
* Providing education and training on domestic and sexual violence to all employees and designating a coordinator.
* Adjusting work schedules and providing flexible paid and unpaid leave so that victims can obtain necessary medical care, counseling, or legal assistance.
* Establishing disciplinary actions for any employee who threatens, harasses or abuses a family or household member at, or from, the workplace.

I.S.P. Consulting is available to companies to help develop and examine policies around workplace violence, including sexual harassment and stalking, based on best practices and state and local laws. Having an outside agency assist with the process also provides an opportunity for employees to discuss if there are existing safety issues that management and business owners are not currently aware of.

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