Tag: workplace violence

Employment Law Tip: Warding Off Workplace Violence

In late January, a former U.S. postal worker went on a shooting rampage at a mail processing plant in the town of Goleta near Santa Barbara. The ex-employee killed five, wounded another, and then turned the gun on herself. She reportedly had been placed on medical leave from her job in 2003 for psychological reasons–at […]

Bulletin: NIOSH Produces Free Workplace Violence DVD for Employers

The National Institute for Ocupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has produced a new training tool about preventing workplace violence. “Violence on the Job” is a 27-minute video (in two separate programs) that discusses practical measures for identifying risk factors for violence at work, and it offers recommendations and resources to help keep workers safe. The […]

Workplace Violence: New Case Gives Employers a Tool to Ward Off Tragedy; Restraining Orders Now Easier to Obtain

On July 8, 2003, a worker at a Lockheed Martin Mississippi aircraft parts plant gunned down 14 coworkers, killing five. On August 27, 2003, a disgruntled former employee opened fire at a Chicago auto parts warehouse, killing six former coworkers. These tragedies are just a fraction of the workplace violence incidents—which include the spillover of […]

Violent Employees: Risk Assessment Checklist

It’s important to understand the warning signs that a worker might be headed for violent behavior. Here’s a list of stress factors, cues, and signals that many psychologists believe may indicate potential for violent behavior in the workplace. Of course, just how significant any of these factors may be will depend on your situation:

Workplace Violence: Termination of Employee Who Defended Himself Upheld; Are You Ready for a Claim Like This?

Bad feelings between two co-workers erupt, and one goes on the attack. The other worker could back off but instead defends himself. You fire both employees. But now you have a lawsuit on your hands charging the termination violated the right to self-defense of the employee who defended against the attack. Will the court dismiss […]

Exempt Employees: Federal Government Proposes Overhaul of Who’s Exempt from Overtime, but California Rules Still Stricter

The U.S. Department of Labor recently published a proposal to update the 50-year-old Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations defining white-collar exemptions. The new rules could take effect by the end of the year after a public comment and review process. But, as explained below, the changes probably won’t have much impact on California employers […]

Disciplinary Meetings: New Ruling Sheds Light on When Employees Are Entitled to Union Representation

A union worker is about to be called into a monthly performance meeting. He asks if he needs union representation, and you say no. Then, because of something that occurs during the meeting, you terminate him. Were you wrong not to put off the meeting until he had representation? We’ll review a recent National Labor […]

Preventing Violence In The Workplace: Employee Punched By Co-Worker Wins $2.5 Million Verdict; Take Action Now

If two employees get into a scuffle at work and one is hurt, you might assume that the injured employee’s only recourse against you is to file a workers’ compensation claim. But a San Diego jury’s staggering verdict demonstrates that if you don’t respond appropriately to an altercation, you could find yourself on the losing […]

Terminating Employees: Employer Ordered To Pay $450,000 To Worker Fired For Defending Himself From Co-Worker’s Assault

Hector Escalante was a print machine operator at Wilson’s Art Studio Inc. in Orange County. One day without warning co-worker Ion Stanei allegedly attacked Escalante with a stick and hammer and threw a box of screws at him. As Escalante ran away, Stanei hurled another box of screws, hitting Escalante in the back. When Escalante […]