OPM and the Justice Department have released a new training course titled “Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking in the Workplace,” available to all agencies at no cost on the HR University site.
“We are asking agencies to consider making a commitment to require all employees, including leadership, to take this training and responsibly prepare the workforce for proactive and effective response,” an OPM-Justice memo to agencies says.
“The unfortunate reality is that – whether we know it or not – at some point in our careers most of us likely will have a colleague who has experienced or is experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. And the effects of such violence don’t just remain within the walls of the home. They affect all of us who live and work with victims and survivors, their children, and other loved ones,” it adds.
The course is applicable to all agencies, OPM said, and covers issues including possible signs and symptoms, the importance of maintaining confidentiality in the workplace, and identifying the internal and external resources available to assist employees and managers.
The training follows a 2012 presidential memo setting general policies on addressing domestic violence in the federal workplace and OPM guidance of the following year on developing agency-specific policies on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. That guidance encouraged agencies to highlight training and awareness of those issues in their workplace policies and to better train supervisors, HR personnel, employee assistance program personnel, and other employees.