It’s Worse Than You May Know: 10 Things HR Needs To Understand About Domestic Violence In The Workplace

Speaker: Lynn Fairweather – President, Presage Consulting and Training

Date: December 15th Thursday

Time: 01:00 PM EST | 10:00 AM PST

Duration: 90 Minutes

Product Code: 300192

Level: Intermediate

This webinar has been approved for 1.50 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HRCI.

“The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.”

“This program is valid for 1.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.”

Key Take Away

This webinar covers 10 specific points about employee victims and perpetrators, violence risk, victim perspective, best practice interventions, and the financial damage associated with domestic violence.


Many human resources professionals have had basic domestic violence training on how domestic violence impacts workplace, but most do not realize the depth of the problem nor the most effective ways to deal with it.

Why Should You Attend

Human resources professionals are often charged with handling employee related domestic violence cases, which can be both challenging and dangerous.

This webinar seeks to educate and prepare HR staff to assess and handle domestic violence cases by sharing crucial information on where victims are coming from, what they’re facing, and how employers can sensitively and effectively support them, to keep the entire workplace safer overall.

Statistically speaking, every large company has domestic violence in their midst, whether they realize it or not. More than half of women (and many men) have experienced physical, sexual, or severe emotional abuse during their lifetime and most of these victims are employed, as are their abusers. When both show up to their jobs, the abuse and harassment often follow, emerging as domestic violence “spillover” in the workplace. The spillover spectrum ranges from repetitive phone calls on the mild end, to mass shootings on the extreme. Of course, violent incidents are a primary concern, but the impact of domestic violence in the workplace reaches far beyond human safety alone.

Abused employees have higher absenteeism and lower productivity rates than non-abused employees. They also have over 40% higher health care costs and a greater chance of leaving the company or being fired because of what they are experiencing at home and at work.

Performance issues caused by domestic violence are often what HR encounters first, before realizing the extent of the problem. In addition, employee-abusers create a significant liability risk for companies posing threats that range from OSHA violations to multi-million dollar post-incident lawsuits. If employee victims aren’t coming forward and management isn’t responding correctly, then the company is “flying blind”, unable to see the dangers before them.

Human resources professionals should attend this webinar because while it is within their power to address and defeat the insidious enemy of domestic violence, they can’t do it without understanding the nature of their opponent and knowing exactly what tools to use in the battle against it.

Areas Covered In This Webinar

This webinar begins with a foundational discussion of domestic violence using general statistics such as prevalence rates by gender, and working victim stats. Participants are given multiple signs to look for to recognize that an employee may be experiencing domestic violence.

Next, the subject of employee batterers is explored including at-work behaviors, policy recommendations, and domestic violence pre-screening new hires. This section is followed by a closer look at domestic violence spillover in the workplace.

Areas covered include: workplace attack and homicide statistics, domestic violence related mass shooting stats, hybrid violence, workplace vulnerability, and high risk red flags. Additional topics include absence protocols, emergency management, crisis communications, and lock down procedures.

The next section delves into performance issues caused by domestic violence such as absenteeism, reduced productivity, abuser sabotage, and effects on co-workers. Participants will then examine the legal liabilities associated with domestic violence at work, such as negligence and civil suits by victims and their families, OSHA violations and fines, sexual harassment, unlawful termination, and worker’s compensation suits, as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furthermore, attendees will learn about employee batterer liabilities such as negligent hiring, training, supervision, or retention lawsuits.

The next section covers victim termination and includes information on employee victim rights, ideal victim policy, disclosure and awareness, victim job loss statistics and protections, and what happens when a victim is fired. This is followed by advice on responding to employee victims in a sensitive, effective manner and supporting their many needs. Spillover prevention strategies are discussed such as check-ins, time off, wraparound escorts, code words, file security, and employer responsibilities around protection orders.

Attendees will also learn how to audit their EAP and healthcare packages to determine if the needs of employee victims are being adequately met. The webinar concludes with an exploration into victim mentality to explain why victims may stay with or return to an abuser, and the formidable challenges often associated with leaving an abusive relationship.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will explore the issue of domestic violence in workplace and learn how it impacts the workplace
  • Participants will gain insight into the topic of domestic violence “spill over” and discuss the legal and financial problems it can create
  • Participants will improve their skills in recognizing and responding to domestic violence victims in the workplace
  • Participants will examine and develop new strategies for assessing and managing employee related domestic violence cases

Who Will Benefit

  • Human Resources Professionals
  • Corporate Threat Managers
  • Management Team
  • Employee Relations Staff
  • Legal/ Security Professionals

Speakers Profile

Lynn Fairweather, MSW is an abuse survivor who has worked in the domestic violence response and prevention field for over 23 years. In her role as president of Presage Consulting and Training she provides expert guidance and education to professionals in both the public and private sector, ranging from the federal government to multinational Fortune 50 corporations.

Presage services include domestic violence threat assessment and management training, workplace violence program and policy consultations, and 24/7 threat response for employee cases. Before founding Presage in 2008, Lynn earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a master’s degree in Social Work. Her skills in domestic violence threat assessment were developed by working on thousands of high risk cases through positions in social service, criminal justice, university and shelter systems. Lynn has served on several interpersonal violence task forces and facilitated both victim support groups and batterer’s intervention programs.

As President of Oregon VAWPAC, Lynn leads America’s only bi-partisan political action committee focused on ending violence against women. She is an active member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals and holds training certifications from Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and Gavin de Becker’s Advanced Threat Assessment Academy.

Locally, she donates her time to train domestic violence organizations as a way of giving back to the advocacy field where she began her career. Lynn also writes professionally on the subject of domestic violence, releasing her first book in 2012 (Stop Signs: Recognizing, Avoiding, and Escaping Abusive Relationships) and appearing as a featured author in Asta Publishing’s 2015 compilation “Tales of Women Survivors”.

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