On Oct. 15, the Civil Service Commission released the State Policy for Employers’ Domestic Violence model policy. This model policy comes as a result of last year’s legislation requiring uniform domestic violence policies for public employers. The law was effective Jan. 8, 2018. Districts and human resources professionals must make sure that their domestic violence reporting policy is consistent with the model policy and designated human resources professionals must now be trained to implement the policy.
The issue was explored in the May/June 2018 issue of the NJSBA’s School Leader magazine. This follow-up article updates recent developments and provides more detail. As you may remember, N.J.S.A. 11A:2-6a, requires every school district’s domestic violence reporting policy to contain the following:
- A declaration encouraging employees who are victims of domestic violence to contact their human resources officer and seek assistance;
- A confidential method for employees to report domestic violence incidents to human resources officers;
- A confidentiality policy to which human resources officers receiving reports of domestic violence must adhere, unless a domestic violence incident poses an emergent danger to employees and the involvement of law enforcement is necessary;
- A listing of available state and local resources, support services, treatment options, advocacy and legal service, medical and counseling services for domestic violence victims.
- A requirement that an employee’s records pertaining to a domestic violence incident or domestic violence counseling be kept separate from the employee’s other personnel records;
- An explanation of the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJSAFE Act). L. 2013, c. 82; and
- A requirement for the public employer to develop a plan to identify, respond to, and correct employee performance issues that may be caused by domestic violence.
Please be aware that the Civil Service Commission has said that all New Jersey human resources officers in public service who are designated to assist employees of domestic violence are required to take Domestic Violence Policy Training provided by the commission. Information on signing up for training is available on the commission’s website.
Finally, the Civil Service Commission has provided a list of Domestic Violence resources that can be shared with employees who report incidents of domestic violence or request assistance.
Specific questions should be directed to the Civil Service Commission and general questions should be discussed with your school board attorney or NJSBA’s Department of Legal and Labor Relations at (609) 278-5254.