Issue: Employees may try to use "self-defense" as a reason for breaking your no-fighting rule.
Risk: That would limit your ability to punish violent workers.
Action: Don't be afraid to discipline all participants in employee altercations.
"No fighting" means no fighting. So don't let employees try to wriggle off the discipline hook by saying they were simply defending themselves.
Include in your policies a clearly worded ban on physical and verbal abuse in the workplace, even if it's in self-defense. Provide descriptions of acceptable and unacceptable conduct.
Recent case: A fellow employee attacked Hector Escalante at work without provocation. Rather than fleeing, Escalante defended himself by fighting back. His employer fired Escalante for failing to back away. He sued, claiming, saying he was fired for exercising his constitutionally and statutorily guaranteed right of self-defense.
A California appeals court sided with the company, saying it saw no problems with the employer's requirement that employees avoid physical conflict whenever possible. (Escalante v. Wilson's Art Studio, Inc., No. 109 Cal. App. 4th 692, 2003)
Final note: When violence does occur, don't jump to discipline right away. Before acting, thoroughly investigate any complaints or incidents. Use disciplinary suspensions when necessary to give you time to probe.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/1370/self-defense-is-no-excuse-for-ignoring-anti-violence-rules "
- Retaliation claim doesn't win if it's filed in wrong court
- OK to fire employee who lies about FMLA absence
- How to guarantee a lawsuit: Terminate only older workers during reduction in force
- State worker claims he was fired for airing dirty political laundry
- During RIF, make sure your rationale makes sense