Violence in the Workplace
When discussing violence in the workplace, it is often thought of in the context of supervisory bullying; however in recent years, it has come to light that it is increasingly present on a peer basis. Bullying in the workforce can be in many different forms, such as, verbal, physical, and psychological. Certain employment situations are more at risk than others for critical incidents. According to Kondrasuk et al (2001), employees who, during the course of their employment, often interact with people are more at risk if they have a history of committing violence. Examples include “police officers, nursing home care givers, daycare attendants, or housing inspectors” (p.187).
The article I chose to read entitled, Case study in threats of workplace violence from a non-supervisory basis, looks at the legal and ethical issues of workers bringing weapons to work and also the psychological effects it has ...view middle of the document...
When the incident was reported to the supervisor an investigation revealed that the woman did indeed carry a gun in her purse. Management’s response was to create a rule banning from employees bringing guns to work.
Even though it seems that management took immediate action, the results were disappointing. Firstly the ban of guns in the workplace was made but without implementing a way to enforce the rule, therefore the employees had no way of knowing if the rule was being followed. There was still a level of fear and mistrust within the workforce. Secondly inadequate handling of the situation can cause employees to leave as they cannot work in a stressful environment where physical harm is possible.
Training is essential in order to secure a safe happy working environment. The training should cover issues such as: How can an employer deal with an office bully in an equitable fashion? What if the employer is afraid of the bully too? When is termination necessary? What are the consequences to all parties (the bully, the victim, the manager, and the morale of other co-workers)? What are the rights of employees who are the victims of office bullying? What remedies will management offer victims of office bullying and other forms of harassment to increase their morale? (Examples could include a transfer of the bully or victim to a different department or increased security personnel or security cameras.) (Taylor & Zeng, 2011).
It is important to note that in some cases, employers can be held liable for claims related to bullying, harassment or stress. If it can be shown that the employer knew or should have known that the workplace was unsafe, or an employee was at risk and the employer did nothing to intervene.
Kondrasuk, J., Moore, H., & Wang, H. (2001). Negligent hiring: The emerging contributor to
workplace violence in the public sector. Public Personnel Management, 30, No. 2, 185-
Taylor, C., & Zeng, H. (2011). Case study in threats of workplace violence from a nonsupervisory. Mustang Journal of Law and Legal Studies, (5)1-11.