Monday October 26, 2009 | Violence in the Workplace

October 22, 2009 at 11:32 am | Posted in Coming Up | 7 Comments

You don’t have to look back too far to feel the impact of domestic violence in our community. In this economy, tensions are running higher than in years past, both at home and in the workplace. Workplace violence is on the rise, and more than just hurting the victims and other employees, this kind of violence can hurt a company’s bottom line as well. We’ll take a look at workplace violence in North Carolina, some of the trends and what employers are doing to protect their employees and their companies.
Guests
Johnny Lee
– Executive Director of Peace @ Work
Lisa Yarrow – Program Director of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Women’s Summit
Kelly Forney – Co-Director, Charlotte United Family Services Victim Services Division

  • Event  |  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s Summit holds a domestic violence conference Oct. 27th at the Hilton Center City. More information.

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  1. […] Here is the original: Monday October 26, 2009 | Violence in the Workplace « Charlotte Blogs […]

  2. […] Originally posted here:  Monday October 26, 2009 | Violence in the Workplace « Charlotte Blogs […]

  3. Just hearing this discussion for the first time. I commend the speakers for their individual efforts and offer my two-cents. I thank Mike Collins for attempting to get to the heart of the problem by his insightful questions. However, not enough was offered in the way of appropriate business strategies to help the employer help the victims of Domestic Violence and themselves from the risk of civil liability, protecting employees who come forward and minimizing the threat or the risks. The traveling Attorney who called in with the clarification on the question of employee protections warmed my heart.

    When we discuss the issue of Domestic Violence in the Workplace we have to discuss the integrated but mutual responsibilities to report, follow up and respond and the impact it will assuredly have on all involved. Domestic Violence is a form of workplace violence that can have an adverse impact on a small to midsize businesses simply because of their limited resources or lack of awareness. If they fail to take corrective action it can be perceived as lack of due diligence, dereliction or failure to provide for a safe workplace, something OSHA will frown upon if shown to be the case and juries will ponder.

    Allow me to offer some additional responses to a victim of a credible Domestic Violence complaint in minimizing risk and increasing the employer’s commitment to victim safety: (1.) Move the worksite. (2) Change the work schedule, (3) Provide escort, (4) Heighten physical security posture, (5) Implement stringent access controls, (5) Insure all employees wear identification badges, (6) Encourage employees to challenge all strangers, (7) Alert employees without revealing any confidential information. (8) Increase security presence, (9) Involve HR, and (10) Coordinate your efforts with local police.

    While restraining orders help, never forget that restraining orders can also aggravate and motivate the disgruntled spouse or partner even further. Every situation must be evaluated and managed. Remember that when the dispute elevates to the restraining order level we must be conscious of not always relying on traditional security responses in providing for the victim’s safety and security. At this point the disgruntled spouse or partner is not interested in escaping, apprehension but retaliation since they often commit suicide as their way out. We need to work collaboratively to avoid this outcome.

    Employers who dismiss such complaints as frivolous and beyond their capability can place themselves at risk under vicarious liability, Negligence in security measures, Negligence in hiring and retention and Negligence in training.

    Victims must be helped but we must take time to educate employers and employees in a mutually supportive environment that provides an appropriate response consistent with their policies, resources and capabilities. The Domestic and Workplace Violence Prevention and Employee Education programs are the place to begin. Sorry for being so long winded. This is a very near and dear topic to me.

    Felix P. Nater, CSC, Nater Associates, Ltd., http://www.nateraassociates.com. 1-877-valu101.

    ####Very good discussion and great facilitation by Mike Collins. The questions were insightful and to the point. However, not enough was presented to help the employer help the victims of Domestic Violence and themselves when doing nothing to minimize the threat or the risks. I do not think that the responses sufficiently addressed the impact to employers. The traveling Attorney who called in with the clarification on the question of employee protections warmed my heart.

    When we discuss the issue of Domestic Violence in the Workplace we have to discuss the mutual responsibilities to report and respond and the impact on the all involved. Domestic Violence is a form of workplace violence that can have an adverse impact on a small to midsize businesses because of their limited resources or lack of awareness. If they fail to take corrective action it can be to all those involved including the employer for failing to take appropriate actions.

    Allow me to offer this response to a victim of a credible Domestic Violence complaint in minimizing risk and increasing the employer’s commitment to victim safety: (1.) Move the worksite. (2)change the work schedule, (3) provide escort, (4) highten physical security posture, (5) implement stringent access controls, (5) insure all employees wear identification badges, (6) encourage employees to challenge all strangers, (7) alert employees without revealing andy confidential information. (8) increase security presence, (9) involve HR, and (10) coordinate your efforts with local police.

    Employers who dismiss such complaints as frivilous can place themselves at civil risk under Vicarious liability, Negligence in security measures, Negligence in hiring and retention and Negligence in training.

    Victims must be helped but we must take time to educate employers in a fashion that allows them to provide an appropriate response consistent with their resources and capabilities. The Domestic and Workplace Violence Prevention and Employee Education programs are good places to begin at.

  4. As a further note, under the General Rule, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers as a general duty to provide for a workplace free from recognized hazards that might likely cause death or physical harm or injury. This will include the prevention of workplace violence. Key to being in violation of this act is one’s failure to do nothing to reduce and or manage the threats or risks. Traditionally, employers have avoided inserting themselves into employee disputes; however, courts are ruling that workplace related disputes tied to a workplace issue can be adjudicated as workplace related disputes in cases of serious injuries or causes of death.

  5. However, reducing and managing incidents of workplace violence to include domestic violence is within the small to midsize employer’s reach. You can begin the process by helping employees understand the implications of traditional measures, training staff and employees to respond to domestic violence, developing a thoughtful workplace violence prevention plan, implementing appropriate, relevant and comprehensive security to manage and reduce the situations, conditions and incidents, developing a confidential domestic violence response plan which can include providing help resources and other measures and collaborating with the experts participating in the original discussion.

    Taking such seemingly gigantic steps sets a positive corporate tone and helps the employees see management’s commitment to their collective safety and security. It really does not take much to foster this supportive climate.

    Call for our complimentary Workplace Violence Prevention White Paper. Nater Associates, Ltd. 1-877-valu101.

  6. Mr. Collins’ preparation for this session provided his business audience an intimate grasp of the issues. After replaying the session again I was impressed with the questions posed. Keep the dialogue going.

  7. employers are the bottom line to preventing workplace violence, the owners and ceos of todays work culture are far removed from whats going on in the work environment. too often the powers that be sit in their nice offices without a clue of whats going on at their businesses. there is a new show on television where the ceo’s go under cover as employees, i think that is a great idea because they really get a taste of their own medicine and some realize the dose is to strong and unrealistic. employers have to realize that just because a person is over 21 does not mean that they dont need supervision grown people behave just as children do. when childish behavior is allowed to fester sooner or later it will climax into something very ugly. instead of handling employment issues a lot of supervisors take sides and declare war on the person they want to get rid of. it happens everyday supervisors along with coworkers can make your life a living hell in order to push you out of the door, you do not have to be guilty of anything this is just an under handed game that has been plaguing the workplace for a very long time. when a person feels they have been mistreated some leave, some become ill and some react negatively therefore employers need to hold their managers accountable for the day to day operations of their companies, they also need to come down from their thrones and see whats really going on in their companies


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