Disruptive phone calls or e-mail

– Sudden or unexplained requests to be moved from public locations in the workplace, such as sales or reception areas

  • Frequent financial problems indicating lack of access to money.
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries.
  • Noticeable change in use of makeup (to cover up injuries).
  • Inappropriate clothes (e.g., sunglasses worn inside the building, turtleneck worn in the summer).
  • Disruptive visits from current or former intimate partner.
  • Sudden changes of address or reluctance to divulge where she is staying.
  • Acting uncharacteristically moody, depressed, or distracted.
  • In the process of ending an intimate relationship; a breakup seems to cause the employee undue anxiety.
  • Court appearances.
  • Being the victim of vandalism or threats.

* American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence; A Guide for Employees: Domestic Violence in the Workplace (Washington, D.C.: 1999) p. 16.

Domestic violence and workplace violence are also related in another way: as noted earlier in this report, the evolution of domestic violence during the last several decades as a specific legal, social, and law enforcement issue can provide a model for similarly identifying and developing responses to violence in the workplace. A particular concern when domestic and workplace violence intersects is the possibility that the victim, not the offender, will end up being punished. All too frequently, when an employee is being stalked, harassed, or threatened at work, an employer will decide that the quickest and easiest solution is to kick the problem out the door and fi re the employee, rather than look for ways to protect her and her coworkers. Though common, especially when low-status, low-paying jobs are involved, this practice raises obvious ethical questions—and possibly issues of legal liability as well.