Irene Jansen | CUPE Equality

The results of a new survey confirm that domestic violence affects many workers, and the impacts spill over to the workplace.

Over 8,400 workers from across the country answered an online survey put together by the Canadian Labour Congress and Western University, with CUPE and other unions’ help.

Just over a third of the respon­dents experienced domestic violence in their lifetime.

Over 80 per cent of those individuals said domestic violence had a negative effect on their work performance, and over a third reported that coworkers were affected as well.

Almost nine per cent lost a job because of domestic violence.

Over half said the violence occurred at or near their workplace, in the form of abusive calls and messages, stalking, or the abuser contacting coworkers or the employer.

Most of the people who filled out this survey were in stable, unionized jobs. Workers in non-union and precarious employment face even more negative job-related impacts.

Women, Aboriginal workers, persons with disabilities and LGBTTI workers were more likely than other respondents to have experienced domestic violence.

Of the respondents who discussed the domestic violence with someone at work, only 13 per cent talked to their union.

Ontario and Manitoba are the only provinces that explicitly require employers to have a policy on domestic violence. In other provinces, domestic violence is covered more generally under occupational health laws.

CUPE’s new Violence Protection Kit, due out later this year, will explain workers’ rights and what union locals can do to challenge domestic violence and support members.

View the results from the survey.