Domestic violence is making big news these days as a result of the recently released video of NFL running back Ray Rice punching his wife (then his fiancee) so hard in the face that she immediately fell to the ground, unconscious.  It’s big news, especially in light of the NFL’s handling of the situation (which is now being investigated by former FBI Director Robert Mueller – this is an investigation I’ll be watching, BTW).  While the facts surrounding the Rice case and the implications for the NFL are of much interest, the whole issue raises an important questions for HR and business owners.  Should your organization have a domestic violence policy?

Recent statistics show that 1 in 4 women will suffer from domestic violence.  Because of this ridiculously high number, the Department of Justice has supported the creation of a Workplace Toolkit for responding to the issue of domestic violence.  Federal agencies are now required to have domestic violence policies.  Why?  Because both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence are members of the workforce.  Accordingly, the issues surrounding domestic violence infiltrate the workplace.

What should a domestic violence policy look like?  The NFL recently implemented one outlining discipline for any NFL personnel (not just players) who engages in domestic violence.  It also offers assistance for victims and those at risk for becoming victims.  These are both good facets of a comprehensive policy.  If you want to know more, the Toolkit referenced above can help craft a policy that’s right for your organization.