Employers who view domestic violence as a personal problem unrelated to the workplace are dead wrong. In an April 9 workplace violence seminar hosted by Allied Barton Security Services in Cleveland, Brent O’Bryan, SPHR, offered an overview of workplace violence categories and potential warning signs. In general it’s a good idea to adopt a “zero-tolerance” policy toward workplace violence that covers employees as well as clients, contractors, visitors and anyone else who comes in contact with company personnel.  Recognize workplace violence as a “hazard,” and put plans in place to deal with it. In the third installment of this workplace violence series, a legal expert explains why domestic violence is a threat to the American workplace.

In addition to impacting the victim’s productivity, absenteeism, health and emotional well-being, domestic violence can become workplace violence if the abuser seeks out the victim at work.
The most common form of workplace violence, criminal intent occurs when a perpetrator who has no connection to the organization attempts a criminal act, such as a robbery.
Many of the effects of domestic violence at work, including absenteeism, damaged morale and distraction, are silent and nearly invisible. She added that 98 percent of domestic violence victims reported difficulty concentrating at work, 78 percent reported being late to work and 67 percent claimed their abuser came to their workplace.

Domestic violence can creep into the work setting when an employee’s partner or ex-partner enters the workplace to cause harm. He offered the following warning signs that could indicate a worker is experiencing difficulties that could eventually lead to a violent encounter: The employee is stressed.

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