Awareness Domestic violence training is mandatory for all managers, supervisors, and HR staff. It is to be offered to all staff. The DAS policy is 50.010.04. Know the contact information for your local domestic violence advocacy providers. See DOC home page on the Web, under Human Resources Leadership/Management Resources Domestic Violence.
Awareness Staff can become aware of the possibility of domestic violence by: 1. An employees self-report or request for assistance. 2. Witness reports of threats or incidents of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 3. An employee with unexplained bruises or injuries. 4. Significant, unexplained changes in an employees behavior or mood. 5. An employee expresses fears about the safety of her/his children. 6. Official notification by an outside agency.
Response Keep information confidential to the fullest extent allowed by law. Tell only HR and your supervisor or FUM*. If circumstances require disclosure, give advance notice to the employee whenever possible. Act immediately. Verification of the possibility of domestic violence is not required before taking action for the employees safety.
Response Immediate safety measures for the employee begin with a confidential conversation, which is not a counseling session. Express support for the employee. Provide local advocacy resource and agency information. However, if the employee is unwilling to discuss the possibility of abuse, her/his choice for privacy must be respected.
Response Suggest a response and safety plan for the employee, which may include the following: 1. Threatening e-mail or voicemails can be saved. 2. Escorting the employee to her/his vehicle. 3. Minimize or eliminate contact if the employee and the abuser are employed in the same agency and/or functional unit. 4. Time off to contact the advocacy agency or support group of family/friends.
Response 5. Reasonable safety measures may also include (but is not limited to) any of the following: Pseudo name/e-mail address at work, alternate work schedules, reassignment, alternate parking arrangements, relocation of workstation or worksite, … 6. Also, screening telephone calls and visitors, changing telephone numbers, changing paycheck delivery, use of sick leave (see the CBA*), leave of absence, increased security for facility access, giving facility security staff a copy of a protective order and photograph of the abuser.
Response Per policy (DAS 50.10.04), reasonable safety measures will not result in undue hardship to DOC. Undue hardship is defined as significant difficulty and expense. Document, forwarding copies to your HR manager.
Response Oregon law requires reporting possible abuse directed at children, the mentally disabled and elderly dependents (ORS 419B.010). HR, your FUM, or others will make this choice.
Follow-up An employee who is the victim of domestic violence will not be subject to any discrimination or retaliation.
Follow-up Any threats or acts of domestic violence are prohibited at the worksite and DOC- sponsored events. Violators may be subject to disciplinary action or dismissal. The policy does not limit the authority of DOC to impose discipline or other appropriate action for off-duty domestic violence conduct by an employee.
*Frequently Asked Questions FAQs* on Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Sexual Assault
1. Who does the new law and policies cover? Victims of abuse, defined as those who are harmed or [are] made to suffer from acts or threats of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Sexual assault and stalking as defined the ORS. Any other person who has suffered: Financial, social, psychological, physical harm as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking against the victim, including immediate family.
2. How am I as the supervisor supposed to help the employee? Create a safe workplace for employees at risk and their coworkers and Provide the tools to recognize the signs of abuse and Assist employees in getting the help they need.
3. What if the employee doesnt want any assistance? Provide the employee with the relevant information and options available and document. It is the employees choice to accept or refuse assistance. Still notify your supervisor/HR Manager. However, domestic violence that disrupts the workplace must be addressed. Example: An agitated spouse enters a building and starts making violent threats.
4. When is mandatory reporting to law enforcement agencies of illegal acts or allegedly illegally acts of violence required? When the incident occurs at the worksite. When it involves children, disabled, and dependent elderly. (Those not able to report for themselves).Reports of these incidents must be reported within 24 hours. HR, your FUM, or others will make this call.
5. Both the alleged victim and alleged abuser are DOC employees. The alleged victim reports physical abuse to the manager, but says do nothing. What does the manager do? DOCs Code of Conduct: Every employee is obligated and shall promptly report to the proper line of authority any illegal acts,.... Let the alleged victim know you must report this to your supervisor/HR manager.
6. What type of leave is the employee allowed to use? The employee may use any accrued paid leave, otherwise the leave is unpaid. The employer can decide the order in which leave is used when more than one type of leave is available. Employees may take intermittent leave in multiple blocks or leave requiring an altered or reduced work schedule. (An example would be a day each week to attend therapy) Leave may also be covered under OFLA/FMLA, ADA (disabled), or Workers Comp (at work injury).
7. What is reasonable time off? Reasonable time off is dependent on the circumstances. Discuss options with the employee. Use your HR manager for assistance. The employer may only limit leave if it would create an undue hardship to the employer. Hardship means significant difficulty and expense to a business and includes consideration of the size of the business and the critical need for the employee.
8. Can I request some sort of proof from my employee? When requested by the employer, the employee must provide some kind of certification. Certifications include: A copy of the police report; protective order; other evidence from the court or an attorney, documentation from a qualified third party, a note from a service provider, attorney, law enforcement officer, health care professional, clergy, or victim service provider. By all means do not delay the process. A supervisor/manager can approve the leave without initial documentation. The documentation can be provided after the fact..
9. What is the employee allowed to take time off for? Legal/law enforcement assistance (to ensure the health and safety of the employee); Medical treatment or recover from injuries; Counseling from a licensed mental health professional or clergy; Obtain services from a victim service provider; Relocate, or make home safe (includes making home safe, time to pack and move or security arrangements).
10. Is a leave request form required for time off? Yes. It is expected that with any time off taken a leave request form should be filled out. In emergencies, the form could be completed after use.
11. Can I discuss the situation with other staff? An employees confidentiality must be protected. Keep only your manager and HR manager informed. All records and information kept by the employer regarding an eligible employees leave, including the fact that the employee has requested or obtained leave, are confidential and may not be released without the express permission of the employee, unless otherwise required by law.
12. Is there ever a time when a manager might decide that other staff should know? If a manager feels that another manager or labor officer could assist handling such a situation, you should ask the affected employee if the information could be shared and the reason for the request. Also, if the protection order limits a person from the facility, staff must know that restriction, but not necessarily the reason for the restriction.
13. What can an employee do if they feel the employer is not following the law? Violations of unlawful employment practice may be file with BOLI or with civil action. Complaints must be filed or cases must be brought within one year of the violation.
If I want more information, where can I find it? Contact your HR manager for assistance when you suspect an employee/volunteer is a victim of domestic violence. Exec. Order No. EO0717 Domestic Violence in the Workplace Signed by Governor Kulongoski. HRSD 60.000.12 Senate Bill 946 ORS 839-009-0325 Your local Domestic Violence agency. DOC Home web page.