new, domestic violence-specific policies or programs. Evaluation and modification of existing policies may be all that's required.
1.VICTIM SAFETY AND SELF-DETERMINATION
a.Employers should actively promote health and wellness programs that increase awareness of the problem and inform employees of available sources of assistance, including workplace personnel who are trained and available to serve as confidential sources of information, support, and referral to local domestic violence service providers.
Battered women often legitimately fear that there will be negative consequences if they disclose to their employers that they are victims of domestic violence. Employers' first responsibility, therefore, is to create an environment of support and safety for victims to come forward. Health promotion can take many forms, including the availability of written information in private locations such as women's rest rooms, prominent display of posters informing employees of available assistance for domestic violence, inclusion of information on domestic violence in new employees' benefit packages, Employee Assistance Programs in the workplace, available support from union and labor representatives, distribution of brochures/handbooks/flyers on domestic violence to all employees, articles about domestic violence in agency publications, and lunch-time informational programs.
b.When an employee needs to be absent from work as a result of being a victim of domestic violence, such as for medical care, counseling, criminal and/or civil court proceedings, legal consultation, or relocation, employers should maximize the employee's options in order to prevent loss of wages.
Effective November 1, 1996, Chapter 331 of the Laws of 1996 made it a crime for employers to penalize an employee who, as a victim or witness of a criminal offense, is required or chooses to appear as a witness, consult with the district attorney, or to exercise his/her rights as provided in the Criminal Procedure Law, the Family Court Act, and the Executive Law. The law