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Employment Tips

Canadian Employers Experiencing Domestic Violence
By:Gordon Basichis <admin@corragroup.net>

You don’t think of Canada as the place for domestic violence. I realize there are generalities and with every generality there are exceptions, but most American tend to think of Canadians as a more mild mannered neighbors to the North.

But according to an article in the Seaway News, the Canadian government recently amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act Definitions. Among the various forms of workplace violence addressed in Bill 168, was domestic violence in the workplace. Employers were urged to take it seriously. There are studies to support this concern. In one of those studies have been found that 74% of employed battered women were harassed by their partner while they were at work. I must say, as the statistics indicate, we at Corra Group will hear this from time to time. In a 1997 national survey, 24% of women between the ages of 18 and 65 claimed intimate partner abusive violence was responsible for them to arrive late or miss work altogether.

What is the cost to the employer? The annual cost of lost productivity due to intimate partner violence is estimated as $727.8 million, with over 7.9 million paid workdays lost, annually. there are other factors to consider. An injured or psychologically damaged worker will never feel as secure in the workplace. The fact that their working environment may be porous enough to leave them susceptible to abuse from their significant other is enough to make anyone have the jitters. This sensibility induces low self-esteem, exacerbated issues of fear and concern for each time they venture into the parking lot, go for lunch, or even pick up the phone.

It is incumbent upon the employer to do its best to keep its employees safe and secure from any form of harm. With the economic downturn and with people depressed and frustrated, domestic violence and violence in the office place has only increased. It is necessary to protect employees from workplace hazards to office harassment to domestic abuse and violence. It is in the employer’s best interests to do so. Let’s face it, secure and generally happier employees are more productive. The employer has less concern for liability issues and for embarrassing news headlines, to say nothing that an employee was physically harmed on the job.

Background checks go a long way to prevent violence in the workplace. For employment candidates, background checks will help weed out violent offenders, sex offenders and those who may have been deemed through county civil court records or though reference verifications to have issues with the opposite sex. County Criminal Records and County Civil Court Records background checks will show if your employment candidate has restraining orders posted against their ex’s or significant others. These background checks are nominal in cost, especially when measured against potential liability costs and loss in productivity. To say nothing of potential injury and worse.

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