Each year, 4 million American women are assaulted by an intimatepartner. That may sound strictly like a personal issue, butdomestic violence is also a business problem. The impact of thatviolence spills over into the workplace in the form of increasedabsenteeism, high insurance costs for medical claims, lowerproductivity, and the risk to other employees if the battererdecides to attack his partner at work. In fact, the JusticeDepartment reports that husbands and boyfriends commit 13,000 actsof violence against women in the workplace every year, and morethan 70 percent of employed victims say their abusers have harassedthem at work. Perpetrators cause more than 60 percent of theirvictims to be either late to or absent from work.
What should you do if you either suspect or have evidence thatone of your employees is a victim of domestic violence? It may betempting to turn a blind eye or, as many companies have done,terminate the employee because of substandard performance. But thatdoesn't do anything to help the victim avoid serious injury ordeath; it also doesn't do anything to preserve your corporateinvestment in that employee's training and work.
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