Pregnant and Being Abused at Home

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]My receptionist is 24 weeks pregnant and is being abused at home by her husband. We have offered to move her to another facility, given her numerous resources for help on domestic abuse. She is not completing her duties at work, leaving her work station to talk with other staff members throughout the facility about personal business, sleeping in the break area during non lunch periods, being a tad aggressive towards other staff members and her work performance is going down hill, fast.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Comic Sans MS]It is at this point, I don't know if it's the pregnancy or the abuse she is receivng at home that is causing this. I also don't know what to do at this point.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Comic Sans MS]She tells horrible stories about the husband and the mistreatment of her and her son, both physical and mental. But, then, she will not leave or take any help. He constantly calls work, demanding that other staff members find her. He shows up on the premises, yelling at her, taking her keys, smashing her cell phone, etc. We have called the police twice now and am going to put a PFA against him, protecting the facility, along with blocking his phone calls.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Comic Sans MS]My question is what can I do about her job performance? It is deteroriating.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Any guidance would be great. Thank you.:help:[/FONT]


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  • Please tell me you have an EAP.

    First, you have to treat this as a performance issue. I understand we want to help our employees, but we hired them to do a job. It is up to HR and management to make sure that they do it, and not to enable them to force others into bad situations.

    If you have an EAP, your issue will be easier. Here is what I did when I had an employee with emotional issues (not abuse) who began to have performance problems: 1) Talked to the employee about her performance, our expectations and offered to help the employee so she could meet them. She agreed she had issues but couldn't explain why she was doing the things she was doing. 2) When this was only temporarily successful I called our EAP and explained the situation. We set up a short program for the employee. 3) Her supervisor and I explained that she wasn't meeting our expectations. We gave her the opportunity to explain why. We told her we REQUIRED her to attend the EAP sessions. She was at last chance by then. It was go or be termed. 4) She arranged her appointment times and attended all sessions. The EAP reported back to us that she was attending (we did not discuss her issues specifically due to privacy concerns). 5) She improved and kept her job.

    If you do not have an EAP now might be a good time to get one. If that is not possible, then I suggest you treat this employee as you would any other with performance issues. Of course, if you can help her be safe and she needs support you want to do that. But if she is refusing to get help there is nothing you can do except stick to her performance.

    Finally, if she tells you her issue is just that she is pregnant, you will still want to address this as performance issues. You can accomodate her up to a point, but we are all still expected to do our jobs competently, including being polite to other employees, even if we are pregnant.

    An EAP is very important for issues like this. I cannot stress it enough. If you cannot get an EAP, there is probably a hotline you can call to get some advice on how to help her. I do not envy you or your situation. Good luck!
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