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Evaluation of the Oregon Protective Leave Law for Victims of Violence

National Institute of Occupational Safety and HealthNIOSH R01 0H00952409/01/2008 – 08/31/2013

Nancy Glass

Nancy Glass
Co-Principal Investigator

Meet the Investigators

Project Description

This study proposes to address priorities outlined by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Workplace Violence Prevention Research. We focus on workplace violence category Type IV, Personal Relationships, when the perpetrator does not have a relationship with the workplace, but has a personal relationship with the intended victim, most often an intimate or ex-intimate partner. Intimate partner violence (IPV) or commonly known as domestic violence is defined as threatened, attempted, or completed physical or sexual violence or emotional abuse by a current or former intimate partner. IPV results in serious negative health, safety and employment outcomes for victims. Additionally, IPV is costly to the workplace because of absenteeism and lost productivity of both victims and perpetrators of IPV.

States, including Oregon - the site of the proposed study, have enacted legislation to provide protected unpaid time off from work for victims to address IPV. Currently twelve states provide variations of protected leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. At the core of this legislation, unpaid leave is granted to victims or their families to obtain a restraining order, meet with attorneys, attend court hearings, find alternate housing, or seek medical care or mental health counseling. The laws are also intended to increase productivity and reduce costs to the workplace. We have developed and piloted the Domestic Violence and the Workplace training intervention that addresses Oregon’s 2007 protected leave law for domestic violence victims. Because there are no evaluations of such training efforts or the impact of the protected leave law, our objectives in this proposal are to evaluate the effectiveness of our Domestic Violence and the Workplace training intervention on three interacting levels of influence on Type IV workplace violence. These levels include the macro-environment (State), organizational (county agencies), and microenvironment (employee). Specifically, we will evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on: 1) the utilization of Oregon’s protected leave law; 2) the development of IPV policies in the workplace; 3) workplace climate towards IPV; and, 4) victims’ health, safety and employment.

Public Health Relevance

This study aims to build the evidence necessary to advance workplace violence prevention programs and policies to support victims of domestic violence and their families.