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5 Things Every Company Needs to Know About Domestic Violence

5 Things Every Company Needs to Know About Domestic Violence

Before the pandemic, it was easier to miss the signs of domestic abuse in employees because the physical line between work and home was tangible. The mindset was also, domestic violence is a personal matter and not something a company should get involved in.

During the pandemic, as many employees worked from home, the signs of abuse had an increased chance of being spotted in the virtual realm. But co-workers didn’t know what to do with that information, let alone employers.

This change brought to light a new challenge. I’ve heard it best stated by Steve Crimando, MA, CTM “it may be the employee’s home, but it’s the employer’s workplace”. The challenge is now that employees are working at home, what liability do employers have when that home environment is dangerous? What happens if an employee is hurt, or even worse killed, while working from home?

In an article on Domestic Violence and Its Effects on the Workplace:

“Domestic violence is no longer a private affair when the office becomes the setting for continued abuse through stalking or harassing phone calls. However, when this happens, victims of domestic violence are more likely to share their experiences with a coworker.

For this reason, some companies choose to train their employees to recognize early warning signs of domestic violence. For example, employees learn to look for the following signs:

  • Decreased employee morale
  • Reduced work interest and productivity
  • Lashing out at coworkers or clients
  • Constrained co-worker relations

When supervisors fail to recognize these signs as symptoms of domestic violence, the affected staff member could be dismissed. This can increase replacement, training, and recruitment costs.

However, companies can develop plans for addressing such situations while ensuring confidentiality and safety for the staff member involved.

The 5 things every company needs to know about domestic violence:

  1. 1 in 5 adults is a current victim of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse
  2. 25-40% of all workplace violence is domestic violence related
  3. Roughly 18,000 acts of domestic violence in the workplace each year (1 in 4)
  4. 57% of all mass shootings are related to domestic violence
  5. Domestic violence has no boundaries and can happen to anyone

Domestic violence effects the motivation, productivity, and morale of all employees, not only the victim. As business owners and leaders, there are things that can, should, and must be done to support employees. Making the effort in the workplace to address domestic violence is a win-win both for employees and companies. Here is an online calculator that gives companies an estimate of the financial impacts of domestic violence in the workplace. What does DV cost your company?

As I’ve been talking to anyone and everyone about this new concern, with so many companies considering keeping a work from home/hybrid workforce, I hear over and over again…

“I never even thought of this from the business responsibility aspect! What do I do? How do I make sure my company is complying with Minnesota state employment laws? What considerations do I need think about when it comes to risk management? How do I know what resources are available in my area? How do I handle this with confidentiality and in accordance with HIPAA?”

For a company to ask one person to shift through the mountains of information online, search for regulations and standards that apply to the company, and create a comprehensive plan and strategy for training going forward, is a lot.

That’s why The Diamond Arrow Group has partnered with Melinda Gau of Quinlivan & Hughes, a MN employment law expert, Mahowald, a commercial risk management company, and Anna Marie’s Alliance and VictimsVoice, two phenomenal organizations focused on providing services to victims of domestic violence, to offer a virtual working workshop on Emergency Preparedness Planning for small to mid-sized businesses in Minnesota.

The purpose of an Emergency Preparedness Plan is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies, natural and man-made. A poorly prepared plan, likely will lead to a disorganized evacuation or emergency response, resulting in confusion, injury, and property damage. While the workshop will provide an overview of all considerations in emergency planning, we will also spend time focusing on domestic violence and its effects on the workplace.

Not only will attendees be provided a short presentation on the most up to date MN employment law considerations for small to mid-sized businesses, they will also have time to review their company’s current emergency preparedness plan and make changes in real time. Providing a virtual workshop that allows attendees time to actually work on the document, while having access to experts to get their questions answered in real time.

All for less that the cost of working with a lawyer individually for one hour.

The virtual workshop will be held next Tuesday, April 6th from 8-12pm. Companies can register for one flat fee and have their entire risk management department or committee attend. If you are a business owner, get signed up now by clicking on the link. If you are an employee, forward this to your supervisor. If you would like me to talk with the decision maker at your company to let them know about this virtual workshop, send me an email with their contact information and I’d be happy to follow up with them.

If you read my last blog post, you know that I know of a bright, beautiful, smart woman who is in a domestic abuse situation right now. As you are reading this, she is in a personal hell that is unfathomable. I will do anything within my power to help her get safe, because I also know of a woman who became a victim of her personal hell.

In honor of Sharon Love, former employee of Mahowald.

Travel Safety Tips

Travel Safety Tips

I know a lot of successful women who travel not only for work, but also for their own enjoyment. With the release of the Travel Safety Awareness video, a friend suggested I ask other women to share their number one safety tip on video (brilliant idea Jim!). So, with a little help from my friends, here is the video with 7 great travel tips to keep in mind.

1. Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the founder of Retail Minded, author of “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” and travels the world to speak on topics facing small business retailers. Her tip helps you avoid the unsolicited hotel employee knocking on your door.

2. The next tip relates not only to your hotel stay, but also anytime you get in an Uber or meet a stranger in a coffee shop. Laura Doonin is a Digital Commerce Strategist, Keynote speaker, Yoga guru and hosts a fabulous podcast called “Whiskey & Commerce”.

3. If you’ve ever dreamed of working from a beautiful co-working space in a foreign country and bringing your family along, Maria Surma Manka is the woman to help you make it happen. Author of “Next-level Digital Nomad: Traveling and Working from Anywhere (even with Kids and a Day Job)” and the blog “Workation Woman”, Maria, her husband, and their two kids have lived like locals in the UK, New Zealand, and Spain. Her travel safety tip comes from seeing this happen in real life.

4. Debbie Hauss is the Executive Director at Retail Touch Points and puts together the Retail Innovation Conference in New York City. She also happens to be my favorite running buddy while taking in the beauty of Central Park or seeing our national monuments in Washington D.C.. With the increased safety concerns for women using ride share apps, her tip is one we can all use.

5. Kelly Radi is the award-winning author of “Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage“, motivational speaker and travel enthusiast (she recorded her tip from the airport in Prague!). When you’re visiting a new destination, you will want to keep her travel safety tip in mind while you’re taking in all the sights.

6. The next contributor has lived in Mallorca, Spain and travels to Switzerland and other European countries on a regular basis. Sarah Bader is the Director of Talent Engagement for Roth Staffing Companies and shares her best practices regarding choosing your travel lodging.

7. Since this travel safety tips video started with a Nicole, I thought it would be fitting to bookend it with another Nicole. As the Executive Director of Congregations For Kids, Nicole Taylor is a passionate advocate for Foster Children all over the world. From Africa to Australia to Haiti to one of our favorite places to meet up, New York City- her tip is all about giving the impression you’re a local.

Whether you’re traveling for work or simply exploring a new destination for some well-earned R&R, remember-your safety is paramount. Keep these tips in mind and use what applies to you to have a safe and enjoyable trip.

 Checkout the video below!

“Don’t ever accept anyone else’s preconceived limitations. If there’s something you want to do, there isn’t any reason you can’t do it.” -Amy Dodson