Sexual Violence and the Workplace: Information for Employers

business womanEmployers have a right and a responsibility to keep their employees safe from violence.  Employers could be held liable for sexual violence that happens in the workplace.  Even is sexual violence does not occur at the workplace, sexual violence has potential economic consequences to the employer in terms of absenteeism, diminished productivity and lose of experienced personnel.  It is important for employers to understand how sexual violence impacts the workplace and how they can prevent violence in the workplace.

Resources for Employers

Model Workplace Policies

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

 

Resources for Employers 
Desk with Green Chair

Workplace Resources (webpage) by National Sexual Violence Resource Center.  The Sexual Assault Awareness Month Campaigns themes for 2008 and 2009 focused on sexual violence in the workplace.  This link provides resources from these two campaigns that employers can use in their workplaces.

Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center  (webpage) by Futures Without Violence.   This website provides many resources and interactive tools to employers.  Among other things, employers can print off information and fact sheets on the impact of sexual and domestic violence on the workplace, learn about the costs of sexual violence, and interact with a virtual employee.  Employers can also use an online policy creation tool, which allows them to customize a policy addressing domestic and sexual violence. Once the policy is created, the policy can be downloaded and saved.


The Impact of Violence in the Lives of Working Women: Creating Solutions – Creating Change (17 p.)  by NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (2002).  This guide provides information on legal issues for employers around violence against women in the workplace and provides suggestions on how employers can develop violence response plans.  This guide focuses on domestic violence but can be applied to issues sexual assault survivors face as well.


Sexual Violence & the Workplace: Employer’s Guide to Prevention (16 p) By NSVRC (2013). When sexual violence occurs in the workplace, it can create a climate of fear and reduce productivity and wellness of the entire staff. The purpose of this guide is to provide employers with information that may help facilitate their engagement in creating a comprehensive violence prevention and response plan in collaboration with community-based sexual violence centers.


Guide for Supervisors (4 p). by Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center (n.d.).  This guide is for employers on how to assist survivors, what to do if an employee has perpetrated violence as well as other resources for employers.

 

An Employer, Union & Service Provider’s Guide to Ending Street Harassment (25 p.) by Debjani Roy     (2013). This guide explains how street harassment impacts the workplace and provides information for employers on what they can do to help. Listen to a podcast with the author.


Training Exercise: Interact with a Virtual Employee (online training tool) by Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center.  This online learning tool walks an employer through various scenarios on responding to violence in the workplace.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Workplace Violence (webpage) provides information on the legal obligation employers have to keep their workplaces safe.
 

Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (webpage) provides articles, research, best practices and other information on a wide variety of workplace violence issues.  


Encourage, Support Act! Bystander Approaches to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (29 p.) by Australian Human Rights Commission (2012).  This document illustrates how the bystander approach can be utilized in a workplace setting to prevent workplace sexual violence.

 

Model Workplace Policies
Two women working in a store


Create Your Own Policy (webpage) by Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center. This online tool allows employers to develop a workplace violence prevention policy. It takes an employer step by step through various aspects and allows the employer to customize it to fit their needs.


State Law Guide: Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Policies (14 p.) by Legal Momentum (2013).  This guide provides example provisions on what should be in a model anti sexual violence workplace policy.  It also provides information on legislation or state initiatives that require or strongly suggest employers to adopt a domestic and sexual violence policy for their workplace.

Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Policies (2 p.) by Legal Momentum (n.d.). This document provides recommended provisions for a workplace policy addressing sexual and domestic violence.it also provides information on how to best serve survivors in the workplace.

 

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Woman by desk holding files

Sexual Harassment (webpage) and Facts About Sexual Harassment (2009) (1 p.) by EEOC.  Provides legal information regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.


Question and Answer for Small Employers on Employer Liability for Harassment by Supervisors (webpage) by EEOC. This website provides answers to commonly asked questions regarding employers liability for sexual harassment.

Policy Guidance Documents Related to Sexual Harassment (webpage) by EEOC. This website provides guidance documents for employers regarding sexual harassment.

 

Sexual Violence and the Workplace Online Special Collection
General Information and Statistics
Information for Advocates