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Fired Co-op City worker makes good on threat to kill boss

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Preventing Workplace Violence

Over the years, the RiverBay Corporation disciplined Co-op City porter Paulino Valenzuela for drinking beer on the job, cursing and threatening to kill his supervisor, Audley Bent. Finally the company, which manages the Bronx housing complex, fired him.

Valenzuela filed a discrimination suit against the company, saying RiverBay management—and Bent in particular—hated Latinos. The judge threw out the case.

On Aug. 30, Valenzuela made good on his threats. He came to the complex and cornered Bent in the basement, shot him dead and wounded two employees.

Advice: Arm yourself against such incidents with workplace-violence policies and training. OSHA offers a free “Workplace Violence Awareness Course” at www.wpv.devis.com. The FBI also publishes a prevention packet, “Workplace Violence: Issues in Response,” at www.fbi.gov/publications/violence.pdf.

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