Concerning Domestic Violence in the Workplace, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
Resolution of the Employee Forum
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
April 2, 2008

 1. WHEREAS, the Mission of the Employee Forum is to constructively address the concerns of the Employees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the presentation of staff concerns to University officials and the University General Administration; and

2. WHEREAS, the Employee Forum and its ad hoc working group on violence in the workplace acknowledge that the statistics on violence in the United States suggest that both victim-survivors and perpetrators of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence are employed at the University; and

3. WHEREAS, these forms of violence cannot help but have a significant impact on our institutional climate, in that

  • lost productivity as a result of domestic violence costs employers more than $700 million dollars (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);
  • the health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners is in excess of $5.8 billion each year (American Institute on Domestic Violence); and
  • a corporate study found that 44% of survey participants were impacted by domestic violence in the workplace (usually because a coworker was a victim) and 75% of perpetrators used workplace resources in their abuse (Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence); and

4. WHEREAS, it is incumbent on the University to address these issues proactively in order to create safe working environments, provide appropriate support and training to employees, increase the ability of employees to perform their jobs adequately and productively, avoid liability, and embody the institution’s mission statement; and

5. WHEREAS, the Equal Opportunity / ADA Office provides training on sexual harassment in the workplace which is mandatory for supervisors and managers, but there exists no proactive and reliable method of distributing information about compliance to the appropriate supervisory and managerial staff who are accountable for insuring such training (except for periodic ad hoc reports from the EEO officer to the Cabinet); and

6. WHEREAS, the Employee Forum has been informed that the Office of Human Resources intends to amend the Workplace Violence Policy to include domestic violence; and

7. WHEREAS, the EEO Office has requested additional resources to strengthen and expand training initiatives on topics such as these by using more successful face-to-face methods rather than relying exclusively on on-line training;

8. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill strongly supports the immediate inclusion of domestic violence in the Workplace Violence Policy; and

9. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, in addition to retaining online training as a supplemental information source, the Employee Forum requests the EEO/ADA Office and/or the Office of Human Resources Training & Development to:

  • provide comprehensive, frequent and mandatory face-to-face training for supervisors and managers in order to (1) raise awareness about the impact of violence in the workplace and (2) instruct managers, supervisors, colleagues, and peers on the appropriate actions to take when they become aware of an incident of violence; and
  • design these trainings in a way that is sustainable, consistent, and routinely accessible to all staff, including those who may have language, education, or other constraints; and
  • submit compliance information quarterly to the appropriate supervisory and managerial staff who are accountable for insuring such training; and
  • begin holding year-round train-the-trainer workshops and peer educator workshops as a way to develop a pool of university personnel who can function as community educators and offer more frequent unit-based educational programs regarding domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment to coworkers and peers; and
  • widely publicize the availability of the Employee Assistance Program Counselor to assist in situations of  violence, in addition to other community resources; and
  • incorporate all of this information comprehensively into its new employee orientation program; and

10. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, in recognition of the fact that additional resources will be necessary to provide these trainings, the Employee Forum requests the Chancellor provide recurring funds for an increase in personnel and materials required to accomplish such training; and

11. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill appeals to the Chancellor and his Administration to support this resolution and to convey this position to University schools and departments.

Signed on behalf of the Delegates of the Employee Forum,

Ernie Patterson, Chair

 

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