Subject: Domestic Violence and the Workplace
APPROVED: Andrea Fulton, OPSB Executive Director
1.1 The State of Maryland is dedicated to the prevention and elimination of domestic violence.
1.2 The State of Maryland seeks to create a supportive workplace environment in which employees feel comfortable discussing domestic violence and seeking assistance for domestic violence.
1.3 The State of Maryland has a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence at the work place and will take appropriate disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution against any employee or non-employee who commits an act of domestic violence in state offices, facilities, work site, vehicles, or while conducting any state business.
2. LEGAL AUTHORITY
2.1 Executive Order 01.10.1998.25; Domestic Violence and the Workplace
2.2 Maryland State Personnel and Pensions Article, Title 11
2.3 Code of Maryland Annotated Regulations (COMAR 17.04.04)
3.1 Domestic Violence – Abusive behavior whereby a person intends to establish and maintain power and control over person with whom he or she has, or has had, a significant personal relationship. Power and control are exerted through physical, sexual, psychological and or economic means. Examples of domestic violence include, but are not limited to:
- threats to cause harm;
- verbal harassment;
- disorderly conduct;
- crimes against property;
- violation of an ex parte or protective order;
- display or discussion of weapons;
- assault and battery;
- rape; and
3.2 Perpetrator – An individual who commits an act of domestic violence.
3.2 Victim – An individual who is subject to an act of domestic violence.
4.1 In order to ensure the safety of all employees who comply with the law (including the Public Information Act), any information related to domestic violence or the State’s response to domestic violence will only be disclosed on a need to know basis.
5. WORK ENVIRONMENT
5.1 All employees should be sensitive and nonjudgmental when supporting victims of domestic violence.
5.2 An employee shall not be disciplined or penalized in the workplace for being a victim of domestic violence.
5.3 When an employee subject to discipline confides that the job performance or conduct problem is caused by domestic violence, the employee shall be referred to the State’s Employee Assistance Program.
5.4 The employee’s participation in the State Employee Assistance’s Program is voluntary.
6. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEES WHO COMMIT ACTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
6.1 An employee who is found to commit an act of domestic violence in the workplace may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
6.2 An employee who is found using any state resources such as work time, workplace phones, facsimile machines, mail, electronic mail, or other means to commit an act of domestic violence may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
7. EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES
7.1 All employees shall:
7.1.1 attend Domestic Violence and the Workplace Training; and
7.1.2 immediately report to the police, security or an agency designee any threats or acts of domestic violence in the workplace that may be experienced or witnessed.
8. VICTIM RESPONSIBILITIES AND ASSISTANCE OPTIONS
8.1 Employees who are victims of domestic violence shall:
8.1.1 notify their supervisor of the possible need to be absent and discuss possible leave options;
8.1.2 discuss with their supervisor plans to return to work and the appropriate reporting procedures;
8.1.3 if necessary and available, make alternate arrangement to receive a paycheck; and
8.1.4 work with supervisor to ensure that adequate safety measures are in place.
8.1.5 contact the State’s Employee Assistance Program for confidential consultation and resources.
9. PERPETRATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
9.1 Employees who are perpetrators of domestic violence shall:
9.1.1 contact the State’s Employee Assistance Program office for confidential consultation and resources; and
9.1.2 contact an abuser’s intervention program.
10. SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITIES
10.1 Supervisors shall:
10.1.1 ensure that each employee is provided with a copy of this Domestic Violence Policy;
10.1.2 participate in Domestic Violence and the Workplace Training;
10.1.3 immediately refer any employee, known to be the victim or the perpetrator of domestic violence, to the Employee Assistance Program; and
10.1.4 maintain the confidentiality of all information related to an employee’s involvement in a situation relating to domestic violence.
10.2 The posting of materials may include, but not limited to the following: locker rooms, bulletin boards, rest rooms, inserts in paycheck stubs, inter-office memos and newsletters. Educational materials may take the form of posters, brochures, informational cards and flyers, etc.
11. AGENCY EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM COORDINATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
11.1 Agency Employee Assistance Program Coordinators shall;
11.1.1 participate in Domestic Violence and the Workplace Training;
11.1.2 maintain up-to-date referral resources on domestic violence hotlines, advocacy groups, shelters, counseling services and legal services (pro bono legal assistance and domestic violence/family court information);
11.1.3 maintain up-to-date resources for perpetrators, including abusers’ intervention programs; and
11.1.4 maintain the confidentiality of all information related to an employee’s involvement in a situation relating to domestic violence.
12. DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT (DBM) EMPLOYEE RELATIONS DIVISION’S RESPONSIBILITIES
12.1 The DBM Employee Relations Division shall:
12.2.1 participate in Domestic Violence and the Workplace Training;
12.1.2 maintain up-to-date resources on domestic violence hotlines, advocacy groups, shelters, counseling services and legal services (pro bono legal assistance and domestic violence/family court information);
12.1.3 maintain up-to-date resources for perpetrators; including abusers’ intervention programs; and
12.1.4 maintain the confidentiality of all information related to an employee’s involvement in a situation relating to domestic violence.
13.1 Each agency shall make reasonable efforts to maximize the safety of all employees.
13.2 These efforts may include, but are not limited to: escort services, improved lighting, working closely with appropriate law enforcement agencies, relocation of employee’s work station, installation of security cameras or silent alarms and strict enforcement of current security procedures.