Employee with Violent Husband

A client has a newly hired manager who is going thru a divorce. Per the employee, who has spoken with a counselor, the husband has a 50% chance of doing harm to himself or the employee. EAP has become involved and recommends the woman go to a safe house. The employee does not have accumulated leave; however, the client is willing to pay her salary for at least one week to determine the extent of the risk. Anyone see any downside to putting the employee on administrative leave with pay. Anyone have any suggestions for how to deal with this over the long run?


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Be sure you will be willing to do the exact same for any other employee going through a trauma. Why not have her take leave without pay? You may be just beginning this process. My experiences with these type issues dictate that seldom are they handled in a week.

    Good luck.

  • Theoretically, treating this employee differently than you would another employee is perfectly legal. The catch is that the decisions can't be based upon protected criteria (sex, age etnicity, that whole shlemiel), and it's easy to get tripped up if you have a seemingly haphazard record of responding to employee traumas. But if you carefully document, and review past situations every time you consider options for a new situation, you can keep your risk factor pretty small.

  • I would give the employee a personal leave of absence. I am assuming that the EAP has advised her to get a Temporary Restraining Order. If so, tell her to carry a copy of it with her at all times, so that if he shows up in violation of the order, she can call the police. When the police show up and see a copy of the order, they will take him away for violating the order. This will keep them from just asking him to leave if she has the order to show them.

    If she is comfortable, ask her for a copy of the order so that if he shows on the premises, you can call the police and have him removed. If you have any concerns about the husband showing up on the premises, consider sending him a certified letter stating that he is not to come on the premises. This letter serves as notice that if he does he will be tresspassing and you will have him arrested. That will usually keep spouses/significant others from showing up. It is always better to be proactive on these matters. Hope this helps. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at 615-371-8200.

    Margaret Morford

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