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Blue Shield of California Announces New Workplace Domestic Violence Policy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (December 4, 2015) --- Blue Shield of California today announced a new Workplace Domestic Violence Policy that applies to all employees. The policy builds on Blue Shield’s existing Code of Conduct and related policies established to ensure employees’ safety by providing specific assistance to domestic violence victims and increasing workforce awareness through advocacy and education.

“We recognize that domestic violence – whether occurring at or outside of the office – can become a workplace issue that affects the safety, health and productivity of our own employees,” said Paul Markovich, president and CEO at Blue Shield of California.

More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Domestic violence impacts the workplace when a victim is stalked, receives threatening messages and is absent or less productive at work due to injuries and extreme stress. Yet, surveys indicate that more than 70 percent of workplaces in the United States do not have a formal policy that addresses domestic violence.

Blue Shield’s policy, adapted from Legal Momentum’s “This Workplace is a DV-Free Zone” model, identifies internal and external resources that may help employees deal with the effects of domestic violence in their personal lives. This includes scheduling time off to get medical attention or legal counseling, making safety arrangements or requesting an accommodation. Employees can also make use of the Life Referrals 24/7 program to help navigate the financial, legal, mental health and family counseling resources necessary.

“Blue Shield of California’s new policy sets a gold standard for all employers,” said Carol Robles-Román, president and CEO at Legal Momentum. “We are proud to have worked with Blue Shield of California to develop this workplace domestic violence policy and best practices that educate and help protect all Blue Shield employees.”

In 2016, Blue Shield plans to work with an external domestic violence organization to provide training to managers and supervisors on how to recognize signs of domestic violence and how to respond sensitively and confidentially when victimized employees are identified.

The policy builds on Blue Shield’s existing, long-standing commitment to ending domestic violence. Through its Foundation, Blue Shield is the state’s largest private funder of domestic violence services and prevention. Since 2003, the Foundation has provided funding for every shelter in the state.

“All of us have a role to play in ending domestic violence, and Blue Shield is taking another important step to end domestic violence in California,” said Peter Long, president and CEO at Blue Shield of California Foundation. “We know that domestic violence can happen to anyone and requires a wide range of solutions, including workplace programs, to make sure people can be healthy and safe.”

Contact: Clinton McGue, 415-229-5359, media@blueshieldca.com

Background on Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $13 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company’s mission is to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Blue Shield has contributed more than $325 million over the past ten years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit www.blueshieldca.com.


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