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How to Prevent, Prepare, and
Respond to Workplace Violence
N. Victoria Holladay, Esq
FordHarrison LLP
Moderator
Becky Ross
Marketing Manager
Office: (303) 228-8753
bross@kpaonline.com
Presenter
N. Victoria Holladay, Esq.
Partner
FordHarrison LLP
Office: (901)291-1500
vholladay@fordharrison.com
If you have questions during
the presentation, please
submit them using the
“Questions” feature
Questions will be answered...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
SUPERVISORS’ PRACTICAL PREPARATION
AND RESPONSE
KPA WEBINA...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Researchers have divided workplace violence into
...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Type I:
• Perpetrator has no relationship to empl...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Type II:
• Perpetrator has legitimate relationshi...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Type III:
• Perpetrator, a present or former empl...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Type IV:
• Perpetrator has personal relationship ...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE
Major Factors
• Difficult to predict
• Past vio...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE
Other factors (cont’d)
• Drug/alcohol abuse
• C...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE
Other factors (cont’d)
• Violation of safety pr...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
Real Life Examples
• Terminated employee returned to plant, walked
through th...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
Moral of the Story
Overall impact/cost to business in reacting after an
incid...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
TYPICAL PROBLEM AREAS
Inadequate Preparation
• Weak or non-existent workplace...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
TYPICAL PROBLEM AREAS
• Failure to take immediate action against those who
ha...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
Maintain Careful Hiring Procedures
• Consider Using:
– ...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
Establish Security Procedures
• Review workplace layout...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
Zero-Tolerance Violence Policy
• Should include the fol...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
Train Supervisors In Crisis Intervention
• Know what behavior to look for; wh...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
Document Problems
• Report all potential/actual incidents to senior
managemen...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE OF
VIOLENT EMPLOYEES
Holding A Disciplinary Meeting
...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE OF
VIOLENT EMPLOYEES
• Who Should Attend (cont’d)
– ...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
• The Approach (cont’d)
– Refer only to conduct at issue
– If employee blames...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
• Logistics
– End of shift
– If suspect violence may occur, notify
security/p...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND
MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
Levels of Employee Violence...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
• Level Two: Escalation
– Situation appears violent and is getting worse
 Se...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
– In event of unavoidable confrontation with the
violent employee:
 call for...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
– In event of unavoidable confrontation with the
violent employee: (cont’d)
...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
• Level 3: The Emergency (cont’d)
– the person frequently displays intense an...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
– Secure personal safety
 cooperate fully with law enforcement personnel
 i...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
Handling the Aftermath of Employee Violence
• How Traumas Affect Employees
– ...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
• Considerations for Management
– Be sensitive
– Observe the different stages...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
• Provide a debriefing
– Consider use of grief counselors
– Discuss event wit...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
• Handle Media Appropriately
– Control information provided
– Appoint one con...
©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved.
Questions?
Thank You
Contact Information
– KPA CONFIDENTIAL –
The recorded webinar and presentation slides
will be emailed to you today.
www.kp...
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  • Transcript of "How to Prevent, Prepare, and Respond to Workplace Violence"

    1. 1. How to Prevent, Prepare, and Respond to Workplace Violence N. Victoria Holladay, Esq FordHarrison LLP
    2. 2. Moderator Becky Ross Marketing Manager Office: (303) 228-8753 bross@kpaonline.com
    3. 3. Presenter N. Victoria Holladay, Esq. Partner FordHarrison LLP Office: (901)291-1500 vholladay@fordharrison.com
    4. 4. If you have questions during the presentation, please submit them using the “Questions” feature Questions will be answered at the end of the webinar QUESTIONSQuestions
    5. 5. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. WORKPLACE VIOLENCE SUPERVISORS’ PRACTICAL PREPARATION AND RESPONSE KPA WEBINAR July 26, 2012 by N. Victoria Holladay, Esq. FordHarrison LLP 795 Ridge Lake Boulevard, Suite 300 Memphis, Tennessee 38120 901.291.1500 vholladay@fordharrison.com www.fordharrison.com
    6. 6. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Researchers have divided workplace violence into four categories:
    7. 7. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Type I: • Perpetrator has no relationship to employer; • usually commits a crime during violent act; • has a deadly weapon; • constitutes 85% of all workplace homicides.
    8. 8. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Type II: • Perpetrator has legitimate relationship with business; • becomes violent during that relationship; • violence may occur in normal duties of employee; • Perpetrator includes customers, clients, patients, students, etc.
    9. 9. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Type III: • Perpetrator, a present or former employee, attacks/threatens another employee related to workplace disputes or interpersonal issues. • constitutes 7% of all workplace homicides.
    10. 10. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Type IV: • Perpetrator has personal relationship with victim; not with the employer; • assaults or threatens victim, usually domestic violence; • violence can affect both male and female workers.
    11. 11. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE Major Factors • Difficult to predict • Past violence is No. 1 predictor of future violence Other factors • Talks or boasts of prior violent acts • Violent reaction or over-reaction to workplace change, perceived insults or threats • Blames others • Repeated company policy violations • Change in domestic situation
    12. 12. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE Other factors (cont’d) • Drug/alcohol abuse • Change in appearance, conduct, health or hygiene • Threatens others at present or past workplace • Difficulty in forming bonds with others and strained workplace relationships • Belief employer treating them unfairly • Volatile, impulsive, little emotional control • Excessive tardiness or absences • Increased need for supervision • Inconsistency in performance
    13. 13. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE Other factors (cont’d) • Violation of safety procedures • Fascination with weapons • Depression
    14. 14. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. Real Life Examples • Terminated employee returned to plant, walked through the front door and shot four employees, killing three • Result – Civil: $7.9 million verdict against employer for negligence – Criminal: Shooter received death penalty PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE
    15. 15. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. Moral of the Story Overall impact/cost to business in reacting after an incident staggering vs. the cost of focusing on preventing incident. PROFILE OF A VIOLENT EMPLOYEE
    16. 16. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. TYPICAL PROBLEM AREAS Inadequate Preparation • Weak or non-existent workplace violence policy • Inadequate employee background screening, supervision, and discipline • Inadequate training on violence prevention at all levels – First line supervisors are eyes and ears – Often behavioral warning signs but supervisors do not know how to deal with them
    17. 17. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. TYPICAL PROBLEM AREAS • Failure to take immediate action against those who have threatened or committed acts of violence • Failure To Report – Unaware of value of reporting – Fear of retaliation/being blamed
    18. 18. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. PREVENTATIVE MEASURES Maintain Careful Hiring Procedures • Consider Using: – Reference Checks – Criminal Background Checks – Drug/Alcohol Screening Atmosphere of respect and communication • Encourage feedback from management and employees • Feelings of isolation/belief management does not care can precipitate workplace violence
    19. 19. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. PREVENTATIVE MEASURES Establish Security Procedures • Review workplace layouts, designs, and security systems • Develop contingency plan to deal with actual workplace violence • Limit access to work sites Zero-Tolerance Violence Policy • Disseminated in written form • Discussed by management and employees
    20. 20. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. PREVENTATIVE MEASURES Zero-Tolerance Violence Policy • Should include the following considerations: – No physical violence tolerated on site – No verbal abuse or threatening/intimidating behavior – No firearm/weapon in workplace – No use of illegal substances/alcohol on site – No destruction of employer/co-worker property – No person convicted of violent crime may be employed – Must report threats and violence – Confidential Hotline/800 number
    21. 21. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. Train Supervisors In Crisis Intervention • Know what behavior to look for; when to report certain behavior; and treat every threat seriously • Use people skills – Rigid, authoritarian management styles contribute to violence – Violent workers have said not the action taken, but how the action was taken PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
    22. 22. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. Document Problems • Report all potential/actual incidents to senior management • Immediate response helps diffuse problem • Document all incidents and management’s response • Review conduct and written response with employee PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
    23. 23. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE OF VIOLENT EMPLOYEES Holding A Disciplinary Meeting • Pre-plan – Decide how matter will be conveyed  Avoid lengthy discussions with unhappy employee – Ensure unobstructed access to exit • Who Should Attend – Use neutral manager if hostility exists between employee and manager/human resources – Have two managers present
    24. 24. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE OF VIOLENT EMPLOYEES • Who Should Attend (cont’d) – More senior manager should deliver message – Limit other attendees to avoid humiliation • The Approach – Concise and direct – Do not debate/rationalize – Never blame on other management or co-workers – Compassionate but firm – Do not refer to disability/potential disability
    25. 25. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. • The Approach (cont’d) – Refer only to conduct at issue – If employee blames it on disability/potential disability, consider whether leave for treatment is appropriate – If discharge:  Let employee discuss his side; require calmness  May refer to outplacement counseling  No contact beyond termination meeting  Do not send employee to another location – allows time for hostility to build  Explain how job references handled DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE OF VIOLENT EMPLOYEES
    26. 26. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. • Logistics – End of shift – If suspect violence may occur, notify security/police to be close by – Escort employee out (only if done with all terminated employees) – Take keys, entrance card, I.D. from employee – Immediately lockout employee’s computer access – Ensure security or facility entrance guard knows not to allow employee on site again DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE OF VIOLENT EMPLOYEES
    27. 27. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA Levels of Employee Violence • Level One: Early Warning Signs – Observation of erratic/unusual behavior that may be precursor to violence  See other factors in profile of violent employee – Document in detail/report to observer’s supervisor – Contact crisis management team – Supervisor should meet with employee immediately; discuss in non-confrontational manner
    28. 28. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. • Level Two: Escalation – Situation appears violent and is getting worse  See other factors in profile of violent employee – Document in detail – Contact supervisor, Crisis Management Team, Law Enforcement, Security – Contact those in danger  attempt to secure their safety  warn them of escalating situation CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    29. 29. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. – In event of unavoidable confrontation with the violent employee:  call for assistance, if possible  attempt to set boundaries for behavior  avoid an audience  remain calm  ask person to sit down  find out if he can follow directions  ask questions to discern the person’s complaint  try to get her to focus on a less aggressive action CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    30. 30. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. – In event of unavoidable confrontation with the violent employee: (cont’d)  once situation has been diffused meet with employee in a secure environment • Level 3: The Emergency – the person frequently displays intense anger resulting in:  recurrent threats  recurrent physical confrontations  destruction of property CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    31. 31. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. • Level 3: The Emergency (cont’d) – the person frequently displays intense anger resulting in:  use of weapons to harm others  commission of murder, rape, and/or arson  other unlawful policy-prohibited conduct – Secure personal safety  call security  call 911  contact Crisis Management Team CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    32. 32. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. – Secure personal safety  cooperate fully with law enforcement personnel  if personally confronted, use procedures in Level 2 CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    33. 33. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. Handling the Aftermath of Employee Violence • How Traumas Affect Employees – Stage One  “Shock Stage” (denial, disbelief or numbness) – Stage Two  “Impact Stage” intense emotions (anger, sorrow, guilt) lasting few days to few months – Stage Three  “Reconciliation Stage” – employee tries to make sense of the event CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    34. 34. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. • Considerations for Management – Be sensitive – Observe the different stages – Be tolerant of temporarily reduced productivity – Do not joke or trivialize the event – Offer support CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    35. 35. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. • Provide a debriefing – Consider use of grief counselors – Discuss event with employees (small groups) – Allow them to comment fully – Reassure them that incident addressed fully by law enforcement or management – Remind employees of the EAP • Review preventing violence training program/management plan • Re-train managers and employees on preventing violence training program CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    36. 36. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. • Handle Media Appropriately – Control information provided – Appoint one contact person with expertise – Consult legal counsel CONFRONTING VIOLENCE AND MANAGING EMPLOYEE TRAUMA
    37. 37. ©2012 FordHarrison LLP, All rights reserved. Questions? Thank You
    38. 38. Contact Information – KPA CONFIDENTIAL – The recorded webinar and presentation slides will be emailed to you today. www.kpaonline.com Becky Ross bross@kpaonline.com 866-356-1735
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