Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Program
The purposes of this regulation are to:
a. Enhance workplace awareness and capacity to create a supportive, safe work environment for victims of violence and fellow employees (See Appendix A – Frequently Asked Questions);
b. Institutionalize responsive policies and procedures to assist employees who are impacted by violence, including providing training on this policy to employees and management;
c. Provide immediate assistance to victims, especially information and referrals to community resources (See Appendix B – Resources for Support and Assistance); and
d. Provide appropriate disciplinary action to employees who are perpetrators of violence.
As awareness about domestic violence (physical, mental, sexual and stalking) has grown, so has the recognition that this crime has a major impact in the workplace. The abuse an employee receives at home can lead to lost productivity, higher stress, increased absenteeism and higher health costs. It has become evident that abuse can occur within a number of relationships. The laws in many states cover incidents of violence occurring between married couples, as well as abuse of elders and children, abuse between dating couples and roommates, and abuse within same-sex relationships. These incidents are a concern if the effects of domestic violence impact the workplace which causes significant costs and safety concerns. This Departmental Regulation outlines the policy of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the prevention of and response to domestic violence.
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