Doc of the Day: Keeping Violence Out of the Workplace…

From law firm Ford & Harrison, a timely alert on the topic of workplace violence – with tips for employers on what they can do to minimize the risk of such a thing happening:

– According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, nearly five percent of 7.1 million private businesses experienced an incident of workplace violence in the previous year. Half of employers with more than 1,000 employees experienced a violent workplace incident in  the last year. The National Center for Victims of Crime states that one out of six violent crimes experienced by U.S. residents occur at work, and in 2009, there were 521 homicides at work…

– There are several things that employers can do to create an environment less conducive to violence. The first step is to hire the right people. With many tools available, such as the internet, employers can learn a lot about their applicants. It’s best to be upfront with your data collection. Ask for permission from applicants to perform background checks and inform them that you intend to call all of their references…

– Make sure your policies indicate that you do not tolerate violence, and you may terminate employees as a result. Require witnesses to report potential violence and provide multiple reporting avenues, such as different managers to whom they can speak. Be sure to investigate all concerns and document your findings.

– Employees should understand through your policies that their use of company phones and computers is not private

Read the entire alert: Keeping Violence Out of the Work Environment | Ford & Harrison LLP