Workplace Violence: Reducing Employer Liability
October 3, 2011
By: Jerald J. Oppel
Violence in the workplace continues to increase, alarming a business community already concerned with the economic costs of terrorism, layoffs, downsizing, increased diversity, alcohol and drug problems. Violence can strike any employer and result in lost productivity and potential liability, despite the fact that most employers do not take the threat of workplace violence seriously. Workplace violence has been widely associated with the phrase “going postal,” which has become synonymous with irrational and violent behavior in the workplace. For a time this was a well deserved, if not overused, euphemism for workplace violence. However, recent events show that random acts of violence are not limited to the “postal” arena. Violence in the workplace can strike with lethal results, at post offices or at corporate offices. Employers need to be mindful of the myriad legal issues related to workplace violence and their potential liability for such acts.
Ober|Kaler employment lawyer Jerry Oppel presented a discussion of the warning signs of workplace violence, what organizations can do, and the resources available. The discussion was part of a training seminar conducted at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. Materials from the program are available at these links:
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