The Impact of Workplace Violence as it relates to Employment Laws and OSHA [Webinar Recording]

On September 20, 2017,  Kara M. Maciel and Andrew J. Sommer of Conn Maciel Carey’s national Labor & Employment and OSHA – Workplace Safety Practices presented a webinar regarding The Impact of Workplace Violence as it relates to Employment Laws and OSHA.

Workplace Violence Slide.PNG

Approximately 1 million workers experience violent acts at work annually. Violence in the workplace is a major concern for employers especially given the events that took place in 2016 in San Bernardino Inland Regional Center shooting massacre and in Hesston, Kansas.  Events like these illustrate that workplace violence can occur at any place at any time. The obvious and most important threat it poses is to the health and safety of anyone caught in the path of violent co-workers or third parties. But, workplace violence can have many other cascading, and negative effects such as reputational harm, and it can result in costly lawsuits ranging from negligent hiring or supervision of its employees to OSHA citations. If violence occurs in your workplace, it is vital that employers have strong workplace violence policies in place to help prevent workplace violence but also to respond to it if and when it does occur.

Here is a link to the recording of the webinar.

This webinar is part of Conn Maciel Carey’s 2017 Webinar Series.  Click here for the full schedule and program descriptions for the 2017 series, and click here to send us an email request to register for the entire 2017 series.

If you missed any of our prior webinars in the 2017, here is a link to Conn Maciel Carey’s Webinar Archive.

Workplace Violence: Employer Liability in Virginia and Potential VOSH Penalties

Workplace violence has become a serious issue for employers throughout the United States. In the wake of the shootings that occurred in San Bernardino, California and Hesston, Kansas, both of which occurred at the employer’s workplace, it is important for employers to be aware of the potential for violence in the workplace and ways in which it can be prevented.  Although these two incidents may not have been foreseeable or preventable, these incidents will nevertheless bring more attention to this issue.

Workplace violence can be categorized in three ways: 1) violence by an employee; 2) violence by a stranger; or 3) violence by a known third party. Depending on the facts of each incident, an employer may be faced with a lawsuit and/or a government investigation.  In Virginia, the law generally shields employers from liability for physical harm caused to employees or customers by the violent acts of employees or third parties.  However, even if an employer evades civil liability, employers may still be subject to an investigation Continue reading

Workplace Violence: No Longer Just a Police Issue — Webinar Recording

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, Eric J. Conn and Kara M. Maciel delivered a webinar regarding “Workplace Violence: No Longer Just a Police Issue.”

Every year, approximately 10% of workplace fatalities result from intentional violent acts.  The prevalence of workplace violence is even more alarming when you take into account non-fatal assaults and threats of violence.  This particular workplace hazard is uniquely challenging because the threat is often from outside the workplace, including non-employee third parties.  Regardless, workplace violence has also become a hot button enforcement issue for OSHA, citing employers under the OSH Act’s catch-all General Duty Clause for employers who do not do enough to protect their employees from violent acts.  Beyond OSHA, workplace violence can also implicate other employment laws.  For example, if violent acts or threats occur because of symptoms of an employee’s disability, the handling of discipline and termination gets tricky under the ADA.  Likewise, HR issues related background checks and negligent hiring could also contribute to civil liability.

Therefore, it is important for employers to develop and implement an effective Workplace Violence Prevention Program and appropriate hiring practices.  This webinar advised employers about their legal obligations to address workplace violence and the implications if they fail to do so.  It also provided employers with the knowledge and tools they need to develop a workplace violence prevention policy and training for employees to ensure they know what steps to take if an incident of workplace violence occurs.

Specific topics included:

  • OSHA’s enforcement philosophy about workplace violence and enforcement under the General Duty Clause;
  • When injuries that result from workplace violence must be reported to OSHA;
  • Reference checking, negligent hiring and supervision obligations to avoid liability to employees or third parties injured from workplace violence;
  • Employer obligations under the ADA, Title VII and state workers compensation laws; and
  • Recommendations for a compliant workplace violence prevention policy and employee training.

Here is a link to a recording of the webinar, which includes the full audio with slides.