Local Connection: Protecting victims of domestic violence

Local Connection: Protecting victims of domestic violence

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Wise business leaders know that supporting an employee in their time of need is not just the right thing to do, it's also good business.

Most of us are very aware of our duties and obligations towards employees, especially when the worker or a family member is ill or disabled. We also know we must protect employees from harassment or discrimination.

But what many don't realize is that we are also required and honor-bound to protect employees who are threatened by domestic abuse.

That's right - in Hawaii, since 2012, the law prohibits discrimination against an employee who is dealing with domestic violence or has a child in danger.

These problems do spill into the workplace sometimes - the victims may need time off for counseling or court dates or to move away from the abuser.

If they are being stalked or harassed, they may need extra security at work,  telephone screening or other accommodations to keep the victim and coworkers safe.

In the old days - if an employee's personal problems interfered with work, the company might take the easy route and just let the victim go. That is no longer acceptable or legal.

Recognizing that domestic violence is everyone's problem means we as business leaders should accept this obligation:  to protect and comfort our employees during these heartbreaking and terrifying situations.

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