The State of Ohio is launching an enhanced training program aimed at educating state employees about domestic violence and its impact on the workplace.

“Domestic violence is unacceptable and far too common,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “It is our hope is that this enhanced program will give state employees a better understanding of signs associated with domestic violence, resources available, and how to appropriately report domestic violence.”

The Ohio Department of Health developed the web-based training in partnership with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. The training is mandatory for all managers, equipping them with helpful techniques when talking with staff who may be experiencing or causing harm in a relationship. All State employees will also have the option to participate in training to better notice and support a coworker impacted by violence in any relationship.

“It is unacceptable that millions of men, women, and children are victims of domestic violence each year,”said Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “It can include physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and financial abuse, and it crosses boundaries of age, socio-economic status, race and ethnicity, religion, and sex.”

The training and related policy was updated to reflect Governor DeWine’s Executive Order 2019-09D, Workplace Domestic Violence Policy in State Government. The order expanded the definition of domestic violence to include victims of dating violence, reflecting modifications made to Ohio law last year.

In addition to the training, all state agencies, boards, and commissions are required to maintain and post lists of resources for those experiencing and perpetrating domestic violence; take appropriate supportive actions when an employee is the victim of domestic violence, such as modifying work schedules, duties, or locations when involved parties are employed in the same location; grant leave requests when needed due to current or past domestic violence; and to work with the Ohio Employee Assistance Program when considering corrective actions.

The executive order also directs all state entities to take necessary corrective actions, up to and including termination, when an employee commits or threatens to commit domestic violence on state property, at state-sponsored events, or when using state resources; and to contact law enforcement if an incident occurs.