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Five Tips on Preventing Workplace Violence

Employer LINC (10/15/2014) Bruce, Philip
Attorney Philip Bruce says there are five things employers can do to balance safety and security and potential legal liability associated with their efforts to prevent workplace violence. Safety must take priority over the desire to reduce legal liability, Bruce says, which means employers must take immediate action when necessary to prevent workplace violence and worry about potential legal liability later. The second tip is to perform background checks while being mindful of the legal restrictions that apply in a given state. For example, many states ban outright employment discrimination on the basis of a criminal record. Third is to create comprehensive security policies and enforce them. Such policies should include topics such as workplace violence, weapons, and bullying. Fourth, employers should work to keep employee morale high for the simple reason that happy employees are less likely to become violent. Finally, employers should handle terminations with care, as they can be a flashpoint for workplace violence. Ensure that more than two people are presenting during the termination and find the best time of the day and week to conduct the termination. Terminations should also be carried out promptly and decisively, rather than allowing the issue to fester.