Thursday, October 1, 2015

Employee Violence in the Workplace: Part 3

How violent acts effect your organization

Once a violent situation occurs in a workplace, the overall impact of that action is difficult if not impossible to calculate.

Workplace violence has a lasting effect on an organization. Time, productivity, organizational culture, and money are all negatively affected by these situations. In addition, the impact on the employees and their families will have an impact on the organization as a whole. Criminal actions may involve law enforcement with jurisdiction to interview witnesses and make arrests. OSHA and other government agencies may have authority to conduct their own investigation with possible citations, penalties, and possible criminal sanctions.

Just as the impact on the organization can be a lasting one, the impact on the employees and their families can be physical, mental, emotional, economic, and even catastrophic. Special concerns for security, liability, management issues, performance issues, and physical/mental health care are at the forefront for victims of workplace violence. Employees who are victims of workplace violence may miss work, move more slowly, or feel unable to complete their assigned tasks.

Acts of violence in the workplace can result in various legal actions taken against employers. Potential areas for litigation or charges may include the following:

  • Civil action for negligent hiring, retention, or supervision
  • Workers’ compensation claims
  • Third-party negligence claims for damages
  • Requests for leave under the FMLA
  • Claims resulting in mental impairments
  • OSHA citations, fines, or criminal charges
Workplace violence can be damaging for the organization and the victim alike. It is important to take proactive steps that will help prevent this type of behavior:

  • Review company policies on workplace violence
  • Train supervisors to avoid negligent hiring and retention
  • Communicate the emergency action plan to all personnel and related agencies and take time to practice your emergency action plan
  • Train employees in CPR and first aid
  • Offer an employee assistance program

Take the time to have policies, procedures, training, and open communication in place for a workplace violence situation. These actions will help prevent a possible workplace violence act in the future.

For more information on this and other HR, HIPAA, OSHA, and Medicare related topics, email or visit our web site at

Employee Violence in the Workplace Part 1

Employee Violence in the Workplace Part 2