Policies and Procedures

Archived Policy

Domestic Violence in the Workplace (archived March 2010)

Effective
December 12, 1997
Category(ies)
Steward(s)
Associate Vice-President for Human Resource Services
Revision(s)
Phone numbers updated
n/a: April 10, 2007

Our Commitment

The Evergreen State College is committed to addressing the occurrence of domestic violence and its impact on the workplace. Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects people from all walks of life. It can adversely affect the well-being and productivity of employees who are victims, as well as their co-workers. Other effects of domestic violence in the workplace include increased absenteeism, turnover, health care costs, and reduced productivity. Therefore, the college is committed to providing training, support, information and community resources to employees about domestic violence and expects all members of the community to address and prevent domestic violence in the workplace.

Definition

Domestic violence is the use of physical, sexual, and/or psychological coercion to establish and maintain control over a family or household member. Family or household member may include spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, and adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past.

Our Responsibility

The Evergreen State College will provide appropriate support and assistance to employees who are victims of domestic violence. This includes: confidential means for coming forward for help, resource and referral information, work schedule adjustments or leave as needed to obtain assistance, and workplace relocation as feasible. Other appropriate assistance will be provided based on individual need.

The college is committed to working with employees who are victims of domestic violence to prevent abuse and harassment from occurring in the workplace. No employee will be penalized or disciplined solely for being a victim of harassment in the workplace.

The college will not tolerate domestic violence including harassment of any employee or client while on campus property, including campus housing, state offices and facilities, work sites, classrooms, vehicles, or while conducting college business. This includes the display of any violent or threatening behavior (verbal or physical) that may result in physical or emotional injury or otherwise places one's safety and productivity at risk.

Any employee who threatens, harasses, or abuses a family or household member while on campus property or while conducting college business, or uses any college resources such as work time, workplace phones, FAX machines, mail, e-mail, or other means to threaten, harass, or abuse a family or household member off campus may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Corrective or disciplinary action may also be taken against employees who are arrested, convicted or issued a permanent injunction as a result of domestic violence when such action has a direct connection to the employee's duties as a college employee.

All employees need to take seriously the problem of domestic violence and its effect in the workplace. The college will take all reasonable measures to foster a safe working environment for all employees, students and clients.

Procedures

It is important that all employees know how best to respond to the effects of domestic violence in the workplace. The following clarifies roles for staff.

Managers/Supervisors

-Participate in domestic violence training.

-Be aware of physical or behavioral changes in employees, and consult with Human Resource Services staff, Counseling Center, and/or Employee Assistance Program for advice. Do not attempt to diagnose the employee.

-Be responsive when an employee who is either the victim or the perpetrator of domestic violence asks for help. Immediately contact the human resource staff, counseling center, and/or Employee Assistance Program for assistance.

-Maintain confidentiality. Information about the employee should only be given to others on a need-to-know basis.

-Work with the victim, the human resource office, counseling center, Employee Assistance Program, the Attorney General's Office, the campus Department of Police Services, if necessary, to assess the need for and develop a workplace safety plan for the victim. Victims of domestic violence know their abusers better than anyone else. When it comes to their own personal safety, offer to assist them in developing a workplace plan, but allow them to decide what goes in it. If it is determined that other employees, students or clients are at risk, it is essential to take measures to provide protection for them.

-Adjust employee's work schedule and/or grant leave (sick, annual, shared leave, compensatory time, or leave without pay) if the employee needs to take time off for medical assistance, legal assistance, court appearances, counseling, relocation, or to make other necessary arrangements to create a safe situation. Be sure to follow all applicable personnel rules and statutes.

-Maintain communication with the employee during the employee's absence. Remember to maintain confidentiality of the employee's whereabouts.

-Work with the Human Resource Services staff, Department of Personnel, and/or other state employers to assist the employee in finding other state employment if the employee needs to relocate for safety reasons.

-After consultation with Human Resource Services staff take any appropriate corrective disciplinary action against employees who: misuse college resources to perpetrate domestic violence; harass, threaten, or commit an act of domestic violence in the workplace while conducting college business; or are arrested, convicted or issued a permanent injunction as a result of domestic violence when that action has a bearing on the employee's duties as a state employee.

-Post information about domestic violence in your work area. Also, have information available where employees can obtain it without having to request it or be seen removing it. Some suggestions are: restrooms, lunchrooms, housing common areas, or where other employee resource information is located.

-Honor all civil protection orders. As appropriate, participate in court proceedings in obtaining protection orders on behalf of the college.

Human Resource Services:

... Will participate in domestic violence training.

... Will maintain a list of services available to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. This list should include: Employee Assistance Program, local shelters, certified domestic violence treatment programs available to perpetrators, information on how to obtain civil orders of protection, and any other available community resources.

... Will be a resource to employees, managers, and supervisors in addressing domestic violence situations.

... Will work with victims, Employee Assistance Program, the Attorney General's Office, counseling center, the Department of Police Services, and other law enforcement agencies and community domestic violence programs, if necessary, to develop a workplace safety plan to minimize the risk to the victim, other employees, students, and clients.

... Will work with supervisors and managers to grant leave, adjust work schedules, or attempt to find continued employment for employees who are victims of domestic violence.

... Will maintain confidentiality. Request for information regarding an employee under this policy must be authorized by the director of Human Resource Services or his or her designee.

... Will advise and assist supervisors and managers in taking appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against perpetrators of domestic violence.

Employees Who Are Victims of Domestic Violence Are Encouraged To Do The Following:

... Tell a trusted co-worker, supervisor, manager, or Human Resource Services staff, and ask for help.

... Contact Employee Assistance Program in Olympia at (360) 753-3260

... Contact the 24-hour Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-562-6025 (V/TTY) or the

... Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence 360/586-1022 or 360/586-1029 TTY

... Call the local police.

... Call the college Department of Police Services at (360) 867-6140.

... Call the college Counseling Center at (360) 867-6800.

... Notify your supervisor or manager of the possible need to be absent and find out your leave options. Be clear about your plan to return to work and maintain communications with your supervisor or manager during your absence. If necessary make alternate arrangements for receiving your paycheck.

... If appropriate and if safety is a concern, submit a recent photograph of the abuser and a copy of your protection order to your supervisor or manager. This will assist the college in identifying the abuser should he or she appear in the workplace.

Employees Who Are Perpetrators Of Domestic Violence May Do The Following:

... Tell a trusted co-worker, supervisor, manager, or Human Resource Services staff, and ask for help.

... Contact Employee Assistance Program in Olympia at (360) 753-3260

... Obtain a referral to a certified domestic violence perpetrators treatment program from Employee Assistance Program.

Other Employees Who Have Concerns About Domestic Violence May Do The Following:

... Tell a trusted co-worker, supervisor, manager, or Human Resource Services staff.

... Contact Employee Assistance Program in Olympia at (360) 753-3260

Components Of The College's Workplace Safety Plan:

The directors of Human Resource Services, Counseling Center, and Police Services will consider the following components in establishing a safety plan for the workplace:

... Consider obtaining civil orders for protection and make sure that they remain current and are in hand at all times. A copy should be provided to the employee's supervisor or manager, reception area, and campus Police Services if there is a concern about the abusive partner coming to the work site.

... Provide a photograph of the abusive partner to the employee's supervisor or manager, reception area, and campus Police Services.

... Review the travel route between the employee's home and work.

... Identify an emergency contact person should the college be unable to contact the employee.

... Identify a college contact person for the employee to contact in case of an emergency.

... Review the employee's parking arrangements for possible changes.

... Consider changing the employee's work schedule.

... Consider what steps need to be taken to provide for the safety of other employees, students, and clients.

... Consider having the employee's telephone calls screened at work.