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Companies Can Learn From the NFL's New Domestic Violence Rules


Jason Keck was quoted in the Chicago Tribune on September 8, 2014. The article “Companies Can Learn From the NFL's New Domestic Violence Rules” focused on the new domestic violence rules implemented by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in an attempt to make it clear that domestic violence and sexual assault "have no place in the NFL and are unacceptable in any way, under any circumstances."

Jason was quoted on how these high-profile steps by the NFL should prompt other businesses to review and bolster their own domestic violence policies, assuming they have one.

"I've seen statistics where there are as few as 30 percent of companies that actually have policies," said Jason Keck.

This is a painfully real problem in America, so pervasive that 1 in 4 women will, at some point, experience domestic violence, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Yet Jason said it's often an issue tossed under "disciplinary policy" somewhere in an employee handbook and never fully addressed.

Disciplinary action is, of course, focused only on the abuser. Jason said that if a person is convicted of domestic abuse, that person could be subject to punishment under the company's overall policies on criminal behavior and convictions. If an employee is not convicted of abuse or sexual assault, a company could still investigate the situation or use other information that indicates the person actually engaged in the conduct, then take action based on the underlying circumstances, though the laws on such action vary from state to state, he added.

"The biggest problems employers have is they Google 'handbook' on the Internet and then tailor it to what they need, but then there's no implementation or training," Jason said. "I personally think employers have a legal and moral obligation to make sure they have good people in the workplace and make sure those people are representing the company in the best light possible. They need to provide policies that address discipline and foster an environment in the workplace that assures victims that they have avenues to go to and that they should feel safe in approaching the people at work to obtain the help they need."

This article was picked up by The Detroit News on October 6, 2014.


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