Should a company sanction an employee accused of domestic violence?
The domestic violence incident involving Baltimore Ravens running back and former Rutgers football star Ray Rice is not only focusing more attention on the NFL’s stance on the issue; but is putting a spotlight on domestic violence in general and the role companies should play in dealing with it.
The video evidence – Warning: extremely graphic - is damning enough, with no charges having been filed against Rice – and the league’s tepid response – which was to suspend him 2 games.
In light of this, do you feel that companies whose employees are accused of domestic violence suspend, punish, or in some other way issue sanctions against those who may have committed these acts?
In an opinion piece written over the weekend by Chicago Tribune writer Rex Huppke,
he states that “companies can learn from the NFL's new domestic violence rules!”
Those rules would suspend a player 6 games accused for a first offense and up to a year for a second.
In the case of individual companies, however, while one would not want a person accused of so heinous a charge working for them - due process has to be played out before any sanctions are leveled.
However, the article states that companies have a moral obligation to investigate the accusation even before a judgment is rendered.
Companies either may not want to take that step; or just not have the resources.
If a company – any company – has any doubt at all about keeping someone accused of domestic violence on their payroll; they could suspend them with pay pending the outcome of a trial – should there be one.
As I stated above – watching the video is damning enough and highly disturbing.
But in the absence of that, a private employer has to do something to send the message that this type of behavior should not be tolerated in a civilized society.
Of course, I would prefer to see companies make these decisions because it's the right thing to do morally. But at the end of the day, regardless of the motivation, what matters is that it gets done.
Follow the NFL's lead on this one. It's overdue. It's important. And it matters.