Author: Jessica Sussman
When to Use
Physical and verbal altercations between employees occur for a number of reasons. Some begin as innocent joking and playing around and then escalate to boisterous physical interaction, while other interactions are more aggressive and hostile from inception. Regardless of employee motives, the risks and consequences to employers remain the same. Physical altercations can jeopardize employee safety, lead to injuries, and damaged property. Uncontrolled fighting is also disruptive to the workplace and can result in decreased employee productivity and morale. Finally, physical altercations may lead to lawsuits for employers as a result of possible discrimination, harassment or assault claims. For this reason, most employers choose to prohibit all forms of employee horseplay and fighting in the workplace. A comprehensive horseplay and employee altercations policy will put employees on notice that fighting of any kind in the workplace is not permitted and will have serious consequences. Such a policy should specifically detail what type of conduct is prohibited.