Overview: Workplace security is a broad term referring to numerous security issues an employer might face, ranging from technological to property security. It includes ensuring that both trade secrets and physical property stay with the employer as well as protecting employee security, such as from physical altercations, shootings or terrorists acts, among others. It also includes natural and manmade disasters, such as nuclear explosions or blizzards. When an employer knows all of its security risks, it can take steps to eliminate them or mitigate the damage of any that occur in the workplace.
To secure the work environment, the first step is to evaluate and determine the risks that affect that particular workplace. Every workplace is different, and will have different realistic threats. An employer in California might need to recognize an earthquake as a potential risk, whereas an east coast employer may not need much protection against such an event. Knowing the risks for the individualized work area is critical to preparing security measures. Risk determination can be performed as part of a risk management plan.
Once the risks are known, comprehensive plans can be made to protect the employer against each likely event. Then, employers should plan drills and tests to make sure the plans work and that employees understand what they are supposed to do. Having plans for different events and testing those plans helps create sound security processes.
Trends: Parking lot laws allow employees in certain states to have guns in their locked cars even in employer parking lots. Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) policies allow employees to use their own technology in the workplace, which raises security issues on how to protect data and sensitive information.
Ashley Shaw, J.D., Legal Editor
In-depth review of the spectrum of Texas employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to workplace security.
XpertHR's Retail Resource Center for HR helps retail employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
XpertHR's High-Tech Resource Center for HR: Securing Employer Property and Information helps high-tech employers handle their most challenging employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
Effective July 1, 2013, Virginia employers will be prohibited from releasing or communicating any personal identifying information of any current or former employee to a third party unless required by a court order, by a warrant or by subpoena in a civil or criminal case. 2012 Bill Text VA H.B. 1931.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Connecticut employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee privacy.
Starting on July 1, 2013, business owners in Tennessee will not be able to keep guns out of their parking lots if certain conditions are met.
As a controversial response to recent acts of school violence, South Dakota is now the first state to pass a bill making it legal for teachers to carry guns in the classroom.
In-depth review of the spectrum of South Dakota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to workplace security.
Duane Morris partner Jonathan A. Segal discusses new employment bills under consideration in state legislatures from coast to coast.
An employer may use this policy to convey the purpose for and importance of conducting exit interviews with employees departing the organization. Given that employers may collect valuable, candid information regarding employment practices from outgoing employees and may also identify post-termination risks such as lawsuits, employers are strongly encouraged to conduct exit interviews with all willing, outgoing employees. This policy can be used to put current employees on notice of the employer's intention to conduct such interviews and what the employer intends to do with the information it gathers.
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