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President's Memorandum Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce

President's Memorandum Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce

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Published by FedSmith, Inc.
Memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies establishing policies for addressing domestic violence in the federal workforce
Memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies establishing policies for addressing domestic violence in the federal workforce

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Published by: FedSmith, Inc. on Apr 19, 2012
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04/19/2012

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THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate Release April 18, 2012April 18, 2012MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIESSUBJECT: Establishing Policies for Addressing DomesticViolence in the Federal WorkforceDespite the considerable progress made since the initial passageof the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 (Public Law 103-322),domestic violence remains a significant problem facingindividuals, families, and communities. Domestic violencecauses two million injuries each year, and an average of threewomen in the United States die each day as a result of domesticviolence. While a disproportionate number of victims are women,domestic violence can affect anyone.The effects of domestic violence spill over into the workplace.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate thatdomestic violence costs our Nation $8 billion a year in lostproductivity and health care costs alone, and other studies havesuggested that the full economic impact is even higher.Moreover, many victims of domestic violence report beingharassed in the workplace or experiencing otheremployment-related effects.As the Nation's largest employer, the Federal Government shouldact as a model in responding to the effects of domestic violenceon its workforce. Executive departments and agencies (agencies)have taken steps to address this issue, including by enhancingthe quality and effectiveness of security in Federal facilitiesand by linking victims of domestic violence with EmployeeAssistance Programs. By building on these important efforts andexisting policies, the Federal Government can further addressthe effects of domestic violence on its workforce.It is the policy of the Federal Government to promote the healthand safety of its employees by acting to prevent domesticviolence within the workplace and by providing support andassistance to Federal employees whose working lives are affectedby such violence. Therefore, by the authority vested in me asPresident by the Constitution and the laws of the United Statesof America, I hereby direct the following:Section 1. Government-wide Guidance to Address the Effectsof Domestic Violence on the Federal Workforce. Within 240 daysof the date of this memorandum, the Director of the Office ofPersonnel Management (OPM) shall, in consultation with theAttorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services,the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Homeland Security, andother interested heads of agencies:
 
2(a) issue guidance to agencies on the content ofagency-specific policies, as required by section 2 of thismemorandum, to prevent domestic violence and address itseffects on the Federal workforce. The guidance shall includerecommended steps agencies can take as employers for earlyintervention in and prevention of domestic violence committedagainst or by employees, guidelines for assisting employeevictims, leave policies relating to domestic violencesituations, general guidelines on when it may be appropriateto take disciplinary action against employees who commit orthreaten acts of domestic violence, measures to improveworkplace safety related to domestic violence, and resourcesfor identifying relevant best practices related to domesticviolence;(b) establish a process for providing technical assistanceto agencies in developing agency-specific policies, consistentwith the guidance created pursuant to subsection (a) of thissection, that meet the needs of their workforce; and(c) consider whether issuing further guidance is warrantedwith respect to sexual assault and stalking and, if so, issuesuch guidance.Sec. 2. Agency-Specific Actions and Policies. (a) Within90 days from the date of this memorandum, each agency shall makeavailable to the Director of OPM any existing agency-specificpolicies and practices for addressing the effects of domesticviolence on its workforce.(b) Within 120 days from the issuance of the guidancecreated pursuant to section 1 of this memorandum, each agencyshall develop or modify, as appropriate, agency-specific policesfor addressing the effects of domestic violence on itsworkforce, consistent with OPM guidance. Each agency shallsubmit for review and comment to the Director of OPM, a draftnew or modified agency-specific policy. In reviewing the draftagency-specific policies, the Director of OPM shall consultwith the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and HumanServices, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of HomelandSecurity, and other interested agency heads. Each agency shallissue a final agency-specific policy within 180 days aftersubmission of its draft policy to the Director of OPM.Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in thismemorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:(i) the authority granted by law to an agency, orthe head thereof; or(ii) the functions of the Director of the Officeof Management and Budget relating to budgetary,administrative, or legislative proposals.(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistentwith applicable law and subject to the availability ofappropriations.(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not,create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the

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