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Preventing Workplace Violence

Preventing workplace violence … Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Use these violence prevention strategies to identify 8 warning signs of violent employee behavior, access 2 examples of a sound workplace violence policy and learn how YOUR management style can stop workplace violence before it erupts…

Make workplace safety a core part of your management strategy and policy planning. Use our workplace violence prevention strategies, sample policies and screening advice to keep your most valuable capital – your workers – safe and violence free.

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This one just might take the cake. Or, at least frost you ... It’s true that employers sometimes trot out the “equal opportunity jerk” defense in sexual harassment cases, saying the harassing manager was awful to both women and men. But this court says that isn’t much of a defense at all, noting that, “It would be exceedingly perverse” if an employer could shield itself from Title VII liability by showing an alleged harasser sometimes abused men “although his preferred targets were female.”

If your organization has been hit with OSHA safety violations in the past, consider yourself on double-secret probation. The agency’s new Severe Violator Enforcement Program starting in June will call for “a more intense examination” of work sites where previous safety violations have been found.

Many employers have adopted so-called zero-tolerance rules prohibiting any kind of violence at work. The reason: Getting rid of violent employees is crucial to maintaining a safe work environment. But be careful how you enforce the rule. If you ever make exceptions, you’re asking for a lawsuit.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Miami-Dade County’s ordinance requiring construction cranes to be able to withstand 140 mph winds is invalid. Construction firms had challenged the law, arguing that it would cost jobs, hinder workplace safety and was beyond the county’s (or the state’s) ability to regulate compliance.

When Ana Mateo was hired as a bilingual secretary for a school district, she never imagined her Spanish fluency would be her downfall. Now that the EEOC has taken up her case, somebody has some explaining to do — in federal court.
When Ana Mateo was hired as a bilingual secretary for a school district, she never imagined her Spanish fluency would be her downfall. Now that the EEOC has taken up her case, somebody has some explaining to do — in federal court.

When OSHA said it had received an anonymous complaint about safety conditions at one of Brocon Petroleum’s work sites, executives there had a pretty good idea who made the call. So the Freehold-based company fired the employee. OSHA did not take it well ...

With workplace violence continuing to make news, employers naturally want to lessen the chance that an angry employee will try to do harm. When they’re about to fire an employee, some employers search the worker’s car to make sure it doesn’t contain any weapons. Handle that search as unobtrusively as possible.

Employers may suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from time to time. But when knives fly at work, supervisors better know the relevant company policies. Consider the case of an employee at the North Carolina Department of Transportation who was apparently the workplace prankster.

Recent workplace shootings in Orlando, Fla., and Fort Hood serve as powerful reminders that employers must heed signs that an employee could act out and harm co-workers or supervisors. There were 768 violence-related deaths in the workplace in 2008. Despite those disturbing numbers, many employers stick their heads in the sand. They put their assets and employees at risk by gambling that “it couldn’t happen here.”

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