How to Address Violence in the Workplace
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, XpertHR Legal Editor
Employees are entitled to a safe work environment. Under the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are legally required to provide a workplace free from recognized health and safety hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) interprets this clause to include the responsibility to prevent harm to employees from workplace violence.
The risk of violence in the workplace undoubtedly affects employee's safety, productivity and morale. Although there are no guarantees that an employer can prevent and stop all acts of violence, an employer should nonetheless take certain measures to decrease the likelihood of threatening and violent behavior as well as increase the chances of responding effectively to such an incident.