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Domestic Violence in the Workplace
When a victim is being abused at home, their career can be affected in many ways. It is so very important for employers to recognize the problems that can spill over into the workplace.
Victims of abuse are under extreme stress at home. Living in constant fear at home may make their jobs an escape for them. But harassing phone calls from the abuser can start. Their abuser may show up unexpectedly at the job site to harass the employee and possibly other workers and supervisors. Managers and supervisors in today’s workplace should be trained in ways to recognize signs of abuse and taught not to hesitate to call security or the local police if they witness anything harmful to employees. Lives may be saved!
Employees who are abused may miss work frequently due to injuries especially visible bruises, cuts, bite marks, and burns. The employee missing often may be experiencing alcohol or drug abuse and many be hung over to function at work. You may also notice a usually great work performance take a major downward turn suddenly. This may happen in spurts as the ebb and flow of an abuse cycle occurs.
There are twelve states in America that allow victims to take time off from their jobs to deal with the challenges victims may face. These include including California, Florida, Illinois, and Washington -- and the District of Columbia. The laws very from state to state and usually fall under what is known as FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). FMLA protects your job while you take up to 12 weeks unpaid time off to deal with family crisis. For more information on legal rights involving domestic violence see the Legal Momentum Site
If you are a victim of domestic violence or if you get out of an abusive relationship, you shouldn't be scared to inform your employer of what is going on especially your immediate supervisor. They are responsible for the safety of all of their employees. Yes, it is embarrassing to admit there is a problem at home or your spouse had to be removed from your home. But imagine if she/he shows up at work screaming at you or worse with a weapon and hurts one of your co-workers.
If you are an employer looking for more information, Domestic Violence Goes to Work is a great article to start with.
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