Zero tolerance and the concentration of blame

Pointing the finger - zero toleranceThree years ago Ray Rice was suspended from the NFL after video footage of his domestic assault became public. Slava Voynov was suspended from play in NHL after he was arrested on domestic violence charges and Jian Ghomeshi was fired from CBC after information about his violent behaviour in personal relationships became public knowledge. All of these incidents happened within weeks of each other. Each case brought a startling glare of public scrutiny and criticism for how the organizations initially responded to the allegations.

Offenders in the Workplace

Ontario has a spotlight on workplace domestic violence. The vast majority of men involved in the study are in heterosexual relationships and have been referred to intervention by the criminal justice system. Like victimization, the high costs of offender behaviour to the workplace include compromised worker safety, lost productivity, increased risk for accidents and exposure to liability. The study found that most employers lack adequate resources to help perpetrators deal with the issue. It’s not just employers. Society as a whole distances itself from violent men and doesn’t provide much in the way of opportunity for change. 

The Impact of Violent Behaviour for Workplaces

We know from the 2014 national survey that one in three Canadian workers experiences domestic violence. More than half experience it while they are at work. When we began offering workplace education about domestic violence through the Make It Our Business (MIOB) training program, one of early questions we were asked was, “How is domestic violence a problem for employers?” High profile cases like that of Ray Rice from the NFL, and Jian Ghomeshi from the CBC, highlighted one important reason as the potential for reputational damage. 

Mindfulness: Healing the Wounds from Domestic Violence & Feeling Empowered

silouette of woman in from of window with sunset over mountains in the distance.The benefits of mindfulness are being experienced and spoken of world-wide which is very exciting. More and more people are beginning to experience when they take time to stop, go inward and train their mind to be still, a depth of healing happens on many different levels. This has been my experience – and it all started 23 years ago when I went on my first meditation retreat on Vancouver Island.

Person's Day

What is Person’s Day? It’s the day when the Supreme Court of Canada officially declared females as “persons.” Yes, today we might think the idea that women not being viewed as persons is a wild and backward ideal, but this was the reality a mere 90 years ago. And in many parts of the world, women today are still fighting for the chance to be heard and viewed as equals.

The Other Side of Zero Tolerance

Zero ToleranceA zero tolerance policy on domestic violence at work sounds like an easy solution. Step out of line and that’s it – you will lose your job. It seems a straight path for moving forward; and yet the unwavering complexity in relationships should make us all pause to reflect on the potential downside of one-size fits all solutions. Simple, clean, standardized answers rarely work when it comes to people. We need to open a space for discussion about zero tolerance and how it might not actually give us what we are really seeking. 

How to Create a Peaceful Workplace

zen garden - 2 rocks sitting in sand with ripples in sand in between themA peaceful workplace. It should be the goal of every organization or business. When employees come to work excited to see their co-workers and actually enjoy doing their job, it creates a more peaceful and productive work environment for everyone. There are many ways that companies can work toward creating this positive atmosphere in the workplace, including training, open communication and a healthy work/life balance. Read on to see how you can foster contentment and peacefulness in the workplace.

The Impact of Violent Behaviour for Workplaces

Woman working at deskWhen we began offering workplace education about domestic violence through the Make It Our Business (MIOB) training program, one of early questions we were asked was, “How is domestic violence a problem for employers?” High profile cases like that of Ray Rice and the NFL, and Jian Ghomeshi and the CBC, should make the reasons crystal clear. They are another illustration of how violence that happens in someone’s personal life can have a huge impact on the workplace. The NFL and CBC came under intense fire for the way that they handled the situations.

Beyond Good and Evil is White Male Privilege

Heather HeyerThe public killing of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville recently brought the shadow side of white North American society into full view. Her parents spoke clearly and passionately to the people at her memorial, eloquently charging them to keep her legacy alive. Her call for peace and equality prompts me to make a link between the tragedy of her murder and lessons learned about domestic and sexual violence. It is a long and winding road.

Alberta joins the growing movement to protect jobs from domestic violence

Alberta flag - blue background with crest in centreLast week Alberta became the second province in Canada to pass legislation providing workers with domestic violence leave. In this case, they are entitled to up to 10 days of unpaid domestic violence leave. Workers are eligible if they or a dependent child or protected adult living with them is experiencing domestic violence.


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