Although domestic violence is a personal issue, it can heavily impact an employee’s workplace. According to the Department of Justice, domestic violence costs employers between $3 billion and $5 billion annually due to missed work, increases in health care costs, lost productivity, and turnover rates. Terminating victims may not always be an ethical or legal option since many states have laws protecting them from adverse action by employers.
It would be beneficial to have a written company policy on how to deal with domestic violence, including whether to offer unpaid leave and assistance in getting in touch with shelters and experts. For those instances where the abusive spouse or significant other may come to the workplace, companies have a duty to keep the other employees safe and should have specific safety plans in place and ready. The following resources can offer assistance.