Workplace Violence: The Basics



Unfortunately, incidents of violence and aggression in the workplace are not uncommon.  There are, however, tools an employer can utilize to ensure employees feel safe at work.  What follows are a general set of guidelines employers should always keep in mind:

Proper training:  Train managers and supervisors to identify potential triggers of violent behavior, such as substance abuse, history of violence or threats, severe personal stress, and/or fascination with weapons;

Develop and post a violence prevention policy:  Make it clear that your company does not tolerate threats of violence even if made in jest, and provide a safe and non-retaliatory environment for your employees to report incidents or threats of violence;

Don’t ignore threats of violence or harm:  Evaluate each and every threat of violence to determine what responsive action is necessary and appropriate.  All threats of violence should be reprimanded and documented in the employee files;

Take responsive action:  Appropriate responsive action depends on the specifics of each event, but may range from disciplining an employee to terminating him/her, increasing security on company premises, contacting law enforcement, changing locks and passwords and informing company personnel that certain people are not permitted on company premises; and

Consider legal action:  Employers may obtain a restraining order or injunction from court if a threat is credible.  To obtain such a court order, the threat to an employee does not need to come from another employee but can concern any person threatening employee safety at your company.

In a specific case of workplace violence or threat of violence, employers are encouraged to seek legal counsel to ensure that the offense is responded to properly and that employee safety is protected.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.