Domestic Violence

Departmental Responsibility: Office of Human Resources
Topic: Domestic Violence in the Workplace
Policy: Domestic Violence
Effective: March 03, 2003
Last Revised Date: November 09, 2011

Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Goal:
The definition of Domestic violence includes, but is not limited to, physically, sexually, and/or psychologically abusive behavior perpetrated upon one household member by another. Such behavior can be violent or threaten violence, and may result in physical or emotional harm or otherwise place a person's safety, and workplace productivity at risk. Other effects of domestic violence in the workplace include increased absenteeism, turnover, health care costs, and safety concerns.

Eligibility:

Pertains to all employees

Process:
Clemson University does not tolerate domestic violence in the workplace including, but not limited to, offices, facilities, work sites, vehicles or other locations where university business is conducted. It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, and administrators to immediately report threats, acts of aggression, and/or acts of violence at the University according to the Clemson University Workplace Violence policy. Such actions include:

  1. The harassment of any employee or other member of the University community while in state offices, facilities, work sites, or vehicles, or on other University properties.

  2. The harassment of any employee or other member of the University community while conducting state business.

  3. Any violent or threatening behavior including but not limited to verbal, non-verbal, or physical behavior in the workplace that has the potential of resulting in physical or emotional injury thus placing safety and productivity at risk while conducting State business.

 

Non-University employee domestic violence perpetrators will be removed from the premises and will be subject to arrest and/or criminal prosecution. Employees who engage in domestic violence in the workplace, or who use University facilities, property or resources to engage in domestic violence are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal. Appropriate disciplinary action, consistent with zero tolerance, will be taken against employees who are convicted of domestic violence; or who in, violation of any protective order, commit any such act that would be detrimental to another employee's job performance. For all of the above, criminal prosecution may result if federal, state, or local laws are violated.

Clemson University does not penalize or discipline employees because they are, or have been victims of domestic violence. For employees who are affected by domestic violence, every reasonable effort will be made to provide support and assistance including time away from work or a modified work schedule to make arrangements for personal safety, or to obtain medical, legal or counseling services.  Employees should discuss their needs with their supervisor, administrative or unit head.


Resources for employees and supervisors who experience, observe or otherwise may be affected by domestic violence.

  1. Discuss your situation with your supervisor and call 911 or if there is no imminent danger, call the Office of Human Resources to request assistance. Call the University Police Department if you suspect a crime has been, or is about to be, committed.

  2. Student employees or supervisors of student employees may report such instances as consistent with procedures outlined in the Clemson University Workplace Violence Policy.

  3. Students who witness or learn of domestic violence, as defined in this policy, should report the incident directly to the Clemson University Police Department. Students should report threatening incidents to the Dean of Students (864-656-0935) or to the Director of Judicial Services (864-656-0510).

  4. Confidential assistance for State employees and their families is available through the Clemson University Employee Assistance Program. For employees with a previous history of domestic violence, the Employee Assistance Program can also make referrals to a domestic violence treatment program.


Supervisors are critical to the prevention of domestic violence in the workplace. By recognizing early signs and intervening prudently and appropriately, supervisors can reduce the chances of violent behavior. When left unchecked, inappropriate behaviors can escalate to higher levels. Behavior warning signs which, in some combination, may indicate a potential for violence, could include but are not limited to:

  • paranoia (e.g. "others are out to get me or get my job")
  • frequent angry outbursts, difficulty controlling temper
  • recent isolation of self from co-workers, seems to turn a cold shoulder
  • rash or impulsive behavior without apparent forethought
  • failure to accept criticism or blames others when things go wrong
  • drug/alcohol use or abuse
  • obsession about possessing or collecting weapons, or "getting" someone
  • co-workers fear or have concerns about this person’s behavior
  • bragging about past acts of violence
  • extreme stress in a person's life
  • an obsession with weapons
  • deteriorating physical appearance
  • showing excessive interest in publicized violent acts


Domestic Violence that intrudes into the workplace is reported by following the University's Workplace Violence Policy report/response procedure.

When an employee is a victim:

  1. Maintain the confidentiality of information that a victim of domestic violence may share. Information should only be given to others on a need-to-know basis.

  2. (Call 911 if victim). If threatened contact Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources (864-656-2000) or the Police Department (864-656-2222). The University Police Department along with the Office of Human Resources is responsible for coordinating necessary resources in order to help evaluate risk and formulate an appropriate response or action plan.

  3. Respect the victim's assessment of risk to self or others in evaluating the need for a workplace safety plan.

  4. Be as flexible as possible in accommodating a victim's need for leave or work schedule adjustments.

  5. If the victim needs to relocate, discuss the situation with the Office of Human Resources to determine what additional assistance may be available to help the employee find other State employment.


When an employee may have a past incident of domestic violence:
If an employee who has a past incident of domestic violence asks for help, refer the employee to Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources (864-656-2000).

When an employee commits a current incident of domestic violence:

  1. Discuss any actual, reported or suspected improper conduct with the Office of Human Resources to determine the course of action that is most appropriate in accordance with zero tolerance.

Document and maintain records of any times the employee may have used University resources such as work time, electronic communication technologies, mail etc. to engage in harassing, threatening or abusive behavior.



THE LANGUAGE USED IN THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE AND THE AGENCY. THE DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE ANY CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS OR ENTITLEMENTS. THE AGENCY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVISE THE CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, IN WHOLE OR IN PART. NO PROMISES OR ASSURANCES, WHETHER WRITTEN OR ORAL, WHICH ARE CONTRARY OR INCONSISTENT WITH THE TERMS OF THIS PARAGRAPH CREATE ANY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT.

Contact HR

Clemson University 
Office of Human Resources

108 Perimeter Rd,
Clemson, SC 29634
ATTN: Employee Records

Phone: 864.656.2000
Fax: 864.656.4672
Email: ContactHRSC@clemson.edu

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