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Government-wide Guidance to Address the Effects of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on the Federal Workforce

Friday, February 8, 2013
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
John Berry, Director
Government-wide Guidance to Address the Effects of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on the Federal Workforce

On April 18, 2012, the President issued a Memorandum on "Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce." The Memorandum noted that it is the policy of the Federal Government to promote the health and safety of its employees by acting to prevent the impact of domestic violence in the workplace, and by providing support and assistance to Federal employees whose working lives are affected by such violence.  The President directed me, as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), to issue guidance to agencies on the content of agency-specific policies to address the effects of domestic violence in the workplace, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.  The attached guidance that I am now transmitting to you is the product of the efforts of an interagency working group that included the agencies designated by the President, along with members from the General Services Administration and the Department of Defense.  The guidance is designed to give agencies the flexibility to tailor their own individual policies to specific agency practices and culture.

In accordance with the Presidential Memorandum, within 120 days from the date of this memo, each agency shall develop or modify, as appropriate, an agency-specific policy for addressing the effects of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking on your workforce, consistent with the new guidance.  Each agency must submit the draft policy to OPM for review.  Each agency will then issue a final agency-specific policy within 180 days after submission of the draft policy to OPM.

To assist agencies in developing their policies over the next several months OPM, in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and HHS, will offer a series of webinars.  Topics will include the impact of domestic and sexual violence on the workplace, the role of employers when responding to domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking in the workplace, and the critical components of a workplace response.

The OPM guidance team, including our partners at DOJ and HHS will be available to help agencies as they develop these important policies. Contacts for submission of your policies within 120 days from the date of this memo and/or questions or requests for assistance may be directed to Ingrid Burford (, 202-606-0416), Alexis Adams (, 202-606-1865) or Hope Hanner-Bailey (, 202-606-2655).

cc:  Chief Human Capital Officers

Attachments (see attached PDF above):  Guidance for Agency-Specific Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Policies