Uniform Domestic Violence Policy for Public Employers
On October 15, 2019, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) published the Statewide Domestic Violence Policy (DVP), and it mandates that all public employers must adopt some form of the policy.
In addition to ensuring that public employers have a domestic violence policy in place, the aim of the DVP is “to encourage employees who are victims of domestic violence, and those impacted by domestic violence, to seek assistance from their human resources officers and provide a standard for human resources officers to follow when responding to employees.” The following are requirements under the new policy.
Requirements for Public Employers Under the State of New Jersey Domestic Violence Policy
The press release discussing the new domestic violence policy outlines the key employer requirements. These requirements include the following from public employers in the state:
- Public employers are required to designate a Human Resources Officer (HRO) who will specifically assist employees who are or have been victims of domestic violence;
- Public employers must ensure that those HROs have received training designed specifically to respond to employees who are victims of domestic violence and to assist them appropriately.
In addition to these requirements for public employers more broadly, the new policy also outlines specific requirements for the HRO. According to the press release, the following are some of those requirements:
- HRO must respond immediately to an employee and must provide a “safe and confidential location” in which the employee can discuss the issue of domestic violence;
- HRO must provide the employee with information about resources available to him or her, and to provide the employee with a confidential phone line to make necessary calls related to the domestic violence incident;
- HRO must let the employee know about protections that are available under The New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act;
- HRO must report the incident to an EEO Office or Title IX Officer if the incident involved sexual touching or sexual assault between employees; and
- HRO must maintain the employee’s confidentiality, and the confidentiality of any other parties involved, as long as it is practical and appropriate.
Contact a New Jersey Employment Law Attorney
It is important for public employers in New Jersey to understand their obligations under the new policy and to implement all new requirements. Public employees should also learn more about their rights and their employers’ obligations with regard to domestic violence. If you have questions, an experienced employment law attorney in New Jersey can speak with you today. Call (732) 545-4717 for more information.