Monday, February 22, 2010

Delaware Governor Announces New State Employee Domestic Violence Policy

On February 12, Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell announced to state employees a new State of Delaware Domestic Violence Policy that will better assist state employees who are victims of domestic violence, delivering on a pledge the Governor made in October 2009 in Executive Order 12. “No one should go to work in fear. We want employees who feel threatened by domestic violence to get the help and support they need. This policy is designed to put victims at ease discussing and seeking assistance for their individual situation. We will not tolerate domestic violence of any type or magnitude,” said Markell.

Delaware’s new Domestic Violence Policy for state employees was drafted by the Human Resources Management Section of the Office of Management and Budget in conjunction with advocacy groups. It provides guidelines and procedures to assist state employees affected by domestic violence.

The state will reasonably accommodate victims needing assistance in areas such as work schedule adjustments, temporary relocations to a new office, parking space re-assignments, and security escorts. Photographs of perpetrators may be provided to security and if an employee agrees, co-workers may be advised of the situation. Each state agency shall designate an individual who may assist with domestic violence issues within that agency. Employees who are victims may choose to notify that designated individual or a supervisor. The policy is consistent with applicable federal and state law, merit rules and collective bargaining agreements. The state is encouraging employee/victims to retain any evidence of domestic violence activity, such as threatening emails, text or voice-mail messages.

Agencies instrumental in developing the policy included the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, chaired by Senator Patricia Blevins; the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence; ContactLifeline; the Domestic Violence Task Force of the Delaware Commission for Women, the Victims’ Rights Task Force and the Delaware Center for Justice.

No comments: