Posts tagged Workplace Violence.

Workplace violence is in the news again. It is a difficult and frightening problem that implicates several aspects of employment law. This episode covers several thoughts on the issue of workplace violence and considers steps employers may take to lessen the risk of an incident, particularly in the context of employee terminations.

The recently-published video of NFL star-running back Ray Rice beating his then-fiancée in a casino elevator begs the question:  What should an employer do when it faces bad behavior by one of its employees?  And, does it matter if the employee is off-the-clock?

Sad news from Connecticut yesterday as another workplace shooting claimed 9 lives.

I’m not going to suggest that it could have been prevented, and in fact I have my doubts that such incidents can be completely prevented in a free society such as ours. Moreover, it would be inappropriate to second guess the company involved based on news stories that may or may not be complete and accurate. Nevertheless, it is timely to consider what steps employers can take to minimize the risk of workplace violence.

In the days following the shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, some alarming facts have been discovered by the media about the alleged shooter, Professor Amy Bishop.  In 1986, she shot and killed her brother after a family dispute.  In 1994, she and her husband were questioned in connection with a mail bombing attempt, and in 2003, she was charged with assault for punching a woman at an IHOP restaurant.  This has prompted some talking heads in the media to question the University’s hiring practices. 

Those of you who follow the world of sports may have noticed that NBA player Gilbert Arenas is in a bit of trouble for bringing several guns into Washington D.C., storing them in his locker and bringing them out or brandishing them depending on which media sources you believe.  For those of you who do not follow sports, Mr. Arenas plays professional basketball for the Washington Wizards, formerly known as the Washington Bullets [insert your own wisecrack]. 



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