Violence and harassment are typically perceived as physical assaults. However, there is a much larger issue with violence and harassment in the workplace. It refers to any incident in which a person is mistreated, threatened, intimidated, or assaulted while at work. Workplace violence can take many different forms, including rumors, swearing, verbal abuse, pranks, disagreements, property damage, vandalism, sabotage, pushing, theft, physical attacks, psychological trauma, anger-related incidents, rape, arson, and murder. NOTE: In this publication, bullying and harassment are also considered forms of violence. For more details, kindly consult the following OSH Answers documents: Occupational Bullying Internet abuse or harassment Workplace Violence and Harassment Workplace Violence and Harassment the family (Domestic) Violence Legislation on Violence and Harassment at Work Workplace Violence and Harassment - Handling Harsh Interactions Workplace Violence and Harassment Safety in Parking Lots Workplace Violence and Harassment: Warning Signs Working Late: Violence and Harassment in the Workplace
What is domestic (family) violence?
Any type of abuse or neglect that a kid or adult suffers at the hands of a family member or other close friend is referred to as family violence. It has also been described as the misuse of authority in connections with family, trust, or dependency that puts someone else in peril. Family (or domestic) violence, in its broadest sense, refers to a pattern of behavior employed by one person to achieve dominance and control over another with whom they currently have or have previously had a close relationship. It can encompass a wide range of behavioral types. Using property, pets, or children to threaten or intimidate, failing to show up for child care, threatening deportation if the victim was sponsored, withholding or stealing money, preventing a partner from reporting to work, from getting or keeping a job, or sexual, spiritual, or emotional abuse or neglect are just a few of the additional, particular dimensions of harassment and violence in a family relationship.
Who could be harmed in a familial situation?
Family violence can affect everyone, regardless of their age, color, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, or level of education. The abuser could be a friend, relative, current or previous spouse or intimate partner. Both men and women have the potential to abuse one another.
Is domestic violence a problem at work?
Yes. When a victim of home violence goes to work, it becomes a problem there. An attacker could be dangerous to the victim or other people there. More than one third of workers nationwide have experienced domestic abuse at some point in their lives, and for more than half of those impacted, the violence accompanied them to work, according to a study on domestic violence in Canada and its effects on the workplace. You may have heard folks say things like ""that's between a husband and wife,"" ""that's a personal concern,"" or ""it's none of my business."" These attitudes further marginalize victims of abuse by erecting a barrier between them and those who might be able to offer crucial support and assistance. The workplace can play a significant role in helping those who are experiencing violence of any type obtain the assistance they need.
What impact does domestic violence have at work?
Family violence victims frequently feel alone. They can be embarrassed or worried that their predicament would jeopardize their employment, so they are hesitant to speak up. Similar to this, for a variety of reasons, people who fear familial violence may be affecting an employee are reluctant to bring it up or take action. The chance of experiencing family violence rises as a result of this increased isolation. In addition, those who experience familial violence frequently report having trouble getting to work and that this has a detrimental impact on their productivity. Additional effects on the workplace include: increased replacement, recruitment, and training costs if victims are fired for subpar performance or absence lower productivity and motivation decreased worker morale potential injury to employees, coworkers, and/or clients tense workplace relationships The following is a partial list of examples of how familial violence may manifest itself at work: continuously calling or emailing the employee showing up at their place of work and interfering with coworkers (for example, by asking a lot of questions about their daily routine) verbal abuse directed at the victim or other employees behaving envious or domineering harming the victim's or the workplace's property, etc.
Do laws exist to safeguard employees from domestic abuse at work?
Domestic or family violence is expressly covered by occupational health and safety laws in some countries, but not in others. For instance, section 32.0.4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Ontario contains a clause about ""domestic violence."" The Employment Standards Code in Manitoba has provisions for ""Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence, Leave for Serious Injury or Illness, and Extension of Compassionate Care Leave"" that guarantee domestic violence victims work protection while they seek safety. This could entail locating adequate accommodation, obtaining medical attention for bodily or psychological harm, utilizing legal services, including putting in place protection orders, etc. Nevertheless, it is the employer's general responsibility in every jurisdiction to make sure all workers have a safe and healthy workplace, including shielding everyone from different types of violence.
What can be done at work?
A welcoming and accommodating workplace gives victims the chance to achieve financial independence and gives them access to the support they need for their particular circumstances.
As part of their strategy to avoid workplace violence and harassment, employers should also protect confidentiality and privacy and:
Identify Warning Signs: All employees should receive education and training to assist in recognizing the warning signs and risk factors for family violence, as well as steps to take when reporting is appropriate, because people who experience family violence are more likely to report it to a coworker than to others in the workplace.
Create a network of supporters Employees who are victims of domestic abuse may receive support and aid from a variety of office parties. A good strategy for creating a support system may be to work as a team with the boss, a dependable coworker, human resources, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, and union representatives. The company can also be able to connect the employee with nearby services. Develop or support a safety plan: Workplaces can help by supporting or creating an individualized personal and workplace safety plans to address the situation. Plan revisions are necessary as conditions evolve. Share the plans with anyone who needs to know about the situation in order to ensure safety. Safety plans may include: Ask if the victim has already established protection or restraining orders. Help assist to make sure all the conditions of that order are followed. Talk to the employee, work together to identify solutions. Follow up and check on their well-being. Ask for a recent photograph or description of the abuser. Alert others such as security and reception so they are aware of who to look for. When necessary, relocate the employee so that they cannot be seen through windows or from the outside. Do not include their contact information in publicly available company directories or website. Change their phone number, have another person screen their calls, or block the abusers calls or emails. Pre-program 911 on a phone or cell phone. Install a panic button in their work area or provide personal alarms. Provide a well-lit parking spot near the building, or escort the individual to their car or to public transit. Offer flexible work scheduling if it can be a solution. Call the police if the abuser exhibits criminal activity such as stalking or unauthorized electronic monitoring. If the victim and abuser work at the same workplace, do not schedule both employees to work at the same time or location wherever possible. If the abuser works at the same workplace, use disciplinary procedures to hold the abuser accountable for unacceptable behaviour in the workplace. [Adapted from: Making It Our Business (2014) from the Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children] Refer: Seek expert advice for safety planning from your local women's shelter or the police. Threats of violence should be reported and emergency procedures should be clearly communicated to all employees.
Where can I find more information on domestic violence in the workplace?
Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace: A Handbook for Employers, WorkSafeBC Make It Our Business, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children (with the University of Western Ontario and the Canadian Labour Congress) What is Family Violence?, Public Health Agency of Canada Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace, Public Services Health and Safety Association Family Violence: It's Your Business (A Workplace Toolkit), New Brunswick (We have mentioned these organizations as a means of providing a potentially useful referral. You should contact the organization(s) directly for more information about their services. Please note that mention of these organizations does not represent a recommendation or endorsement by CCOHS of these organizations over others of which you may be aware.)""" - https://www.affordablecebu.com/