How should we respond to employee’s fear she’s being stalked?

Q. One of our female employees says her ex-boyfriend is stalking her. She hasn’t been able to get a restraining order against him. We’re worried that he may show up and harm her or other workers. Can we fire or suspend her?

A. Termination would be an overreaction to this situation. You should have a detailed discussion with the employee to investigate her concerns and enable you to assess the risk posed by her ex-boyfriend.

You also should consider taking steps to improve the security of the work environment, such as consulting with law enforcement, hiring a security guard and advising the receptionist about who might pose a threat.