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 employees from physical altercations, shootings or terrorists acts, among others. It also includes natural and manmade disasters, such as chemical 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 has different realistic threats. For example, a retail store needs to recognize robbery as a potential risk more than a private office building does. Knowing the risks for the individualized work area is critical to preparing security measures.
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 keep guns in their locked cars while on employer property. These laws generally do not require an employer to allow employees to bring guns into the workplace, but may require the employer to post signs or provide other notice.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments to the state data breach notification law.
Updated to include forthcoming amendments regarding data breaches.
Updated to include law regarding employees' ability to store firearms in their vehicles on employer property, effective June 8, 2018.
Updated to reflect the ability of employees in West Virginia to store firearms in their vehicles on employer property, effective June 8, 2018.
Updated to reflect amendments to the state Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act, effective June 2, 2018.
Updated to include the state Data Breach Notification Act of 2018, effective June 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments to the data security breach notification law.
Updated to reflect amendments to the law regarding weapons in the workplace, effective April 24, 2018.
Updated to incorporate amendments to the data breach notification law, effective April 14, 2018.
Updated to reflect law regarding employee inventions, effective April 1, 2018.