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New Plan to Engage Employee Assistance Programs in Addressing Domestic Violence

Nov 26, 2008

Major employers such as Gap Inc., Kaiser Permanente, Liz Claiborne Inc., Macy’s and Verizon Wireless, along with leading Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) providers including Ceridian, CIGNA, Magellan Health Services, OptumHealth, ValueOptions and others, announced a new national plan to better assist employees who are victims of domestic violence. The plan, called the S2 Blueprint for Action, outlines the significant advancements that employers and EAPs can implement to increase the level of support and assistance to victims.

It is the first effort designed to leverage the work of EAPs to address domestic violence as a workplace issue. The S2 Blueprint for Action includes:

  • Making the business case to CEOs, including the cost to business, liability issues, legal mandates, employee engagement and corporate social responsibility;
  • Managing the workplace environment, including developing and implementing a comprehensive domestic violence policy, positioning EAPs as a valued and effective resource, and changing communications to include domestic violence prevention in the promotion of health and well-being of employees;
  • Encouraging employers and brokers to ask about an EAP’s capabilities for identifying and addressing domestic violence issues for the workforce when soliciting proposals, and encouraging EAPs to proactively share their domestic violence programs as value-added strategies for employers when bidding for their business; and
  • Integrating the expertise of the domestic violence service providers into the referral network offered by the EAP to the employer and providing those resources on brochures, posters, etc., in addition to the EAP.

“This is the first time employers and EAPs have come together to address domestic violence as an issue that affects productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, healthcare costs and workplace safety,” said Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) Executive Director Kim Wells.

The S2 – Safer, Smarter Workplace conference was presented by the CAEPV in San Francisco earlier this month at a conference made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with additional support provided by The Allstate Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, CALCASA, Health Care Service Corporation and Texas Health Resources. The Technology Sponsor for the conference was the Verizon Foundation. For more information and a copy of the S2 Blueprint for Action, click here.

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