A Tip for Tuesday – Proactive Protection from Fisher & Phillips

#MediaMonday – Josh Moffitt
August 30, 2010
What’s in a Name?
September 1, 2010
Show all

This summer, there have been two high-profile tragic workplace violence incidents: a July shooting where an employee at a New Mexico fiber optics company shot and killed two people and wounded four others in an act of violence against his girlfriend, also an employee. Then, in early August, a recently fired employee of a New England beer distributor went on a shooting rampage that left eight people dead before he took his own life.

In light of these tragedies, today’s tip comes from a client – Fisher & Phillips LLC, an employment law firm in Phoenix, and is focused on helping our readers prepare for something we hope you never have to face – workplace violence.

Some tips from their team:

  • Ensure that your business has a zero-tolerance policy regarding workplace violence.
  • When detailing these defined acts of violence, also include several examples – from what may be considered minor to the more obvious physical acts – so there is no grey area in the policy.
  • The policy should also include very specific procedures for dealing with workplace violence at every level as well as a safe, confidential method for employees to report potential acts of violence on them or co-workers.
  • Review the policy with each employee on an annual basis to ensure each team member understands the repercussions of violent acts in the workplace.

Chris Mason, partner in Fisher & Phillips' Phoenix Office

“Simply discussing and publicizing the workplace violence zero-tolerance policy is not always enough. In fact, many forward-thinking businesses develop training programs specifically geared toward workplace violence education,” said Chris Mason, a partner in Fisher & Phillips’ Phoenix office.

According to Mason, training programs should include:

  • Examples of early warning signs of potential workplace violence, including verbal and physical threats
  • Effective strategies to handle conflict resolution
  • Effective strategies to handle various threatening and potentially-threatening situations
  • Specific steps of how to properly investigate incidents of workplace violence

Workplace violence cannot always be avoided. But making workplace violence policies, procedures and training a priority are effective ways to reduce your business and your employees’ risk of danger on the job.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *