Preventing domestic violence in the workplace-Part 2
(This is the 2nd, and last, part of this series)
- Ease of transferring of employees to different shifts or locations to avoid the abuser if they are stalking them. If your policies state that you have to do this and go through many steps to transfer someone to a different shift or location you need to simplify the process and get them off of that shift. You really don’t want the abuser to know exactly when the employee is there, do you? That makes it dangerous, and potentially fatal, for everyone inside the business and ancillary stores/offices.
- Extra security in parking lots& entrances. It may be difficult and unwieldly, but some sort of extra measures must be taken, without being intrusive and obvious, to provide everything possible to make them feel safe. This may cost financial resources, but expending several thousand dollars in saving the life of an employee and showing you care, is how the commercial says, priceless.
- Recording of phone calls on the company phone or instruction on their cell. The reasoning for this is fairly simple. The employee needs to be able to have these recordings to take to court and show some measure of abuse or threatening behavior to obtain restraining orders and protect themselves and their children. It may not be of any help, depending on the backgrounds, but is it worth it? Absolutely!
- Surveillance of the employee, escorted or not, to and from their vehicle/parking area. Hopefully you have high resolution video surveillance of your parking facilities. This will ensure that the employee will not be accosted by the abuser on their way to or from their vehicle. If they are, hopefully the high resolution will show the journalistic who, what, when, where, why, & how of the perpetrator.
In the late 90s I worked at a major office building for a regional security company. Because of renovation of a museum, the parking lot was moved to a location across a bridge & railroad tracks that could have been dangerous for the thousands of employees that worked there. My officers and I stood on the bridge every night to ensure that no employees were assaulted. During a particularly cold and snowy winter in Kansas City it was…not easy to do.
- Privacy and details of the abuse, of the employee must be limited to a need to know basis. In other words only as many people as necessary should know what the actual circumstances are. The security manager/supervisor, HR, immediate supervisor/manager, and other such people. If the employee wishes to tell others, then they should be the one to do it, no one else. This also means that the security staff doesn’t necessarily need to know either, depending on circumstances.
- Giving safety and security tips for their home and personal security. This could even go as far as providing assistance in getting an alarm system installed and paying for the monitoring during this time. Additional tips and ideas should be given to the employee by the security manager, consultant, shelter, or police department.
While it sounds like you can hand off this point to someone else to handle, you can’t. How do you know that the situation was rectified and taken care of if you don’t do it? Especially with paying for the installation and monitoring of an alarm system in their home.
It comes down to the company assisting in any way they possibly can. Shame, embarrassment, and humiliation may force some victims to shy away from even asking for help. Your supervisors need to be trained in how and what to look for as well. And even if the employee says nothing is wrong… that’s not a good enough answer if injuries are consistently seen.
I have talked for several years in my postings that you need to throw out the sacred cows, conventional wisdom, and do what is right not just what is necessary to satisfy the legal requirement. You should push the limits of what is and isn’t legal to protect the employee. Additionally, everything you do to assist them, by necessity, needs to be documented in a file. This will be for any proceedings where you are accused of not doing enough.
Is it possible you will get into trouble and possibly disciplined for bending the policies and rules to assist? Yes. But there is no better way to build trust within the organization and the employees like doing whatever is necessary to protect just one of them who is in this situation.
Are there other ideas you can utilize to assist a victim who works for your company? Undoubtedly there are. What they are depends on your own policies, procedures, jurisdictional restrictions, and own innovative ideas as to what you will do. But remember if you don’t have trust and the confidence of employees, then DV could seriously cause fatalities within the business, be they physical or financial.
obert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear