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Workplace Violence Prevention: Strategies to Keep Employees Safe and Avoid Damaging Litigation

According to the Department of Justice, an estimated 1 million workers experience violent acts at work annually. Violence in the workplace is understandably a continuing concern to EHS and HR managers across all industries, as workplace violence can occur at any place at any time, it’s also a high priority for OSHA and state agencies.

In 2014, OSHA cited a Brooklyn, New York-based university hospital and medical center for one willful violation (with a proposed fine of $70,000) for failing to develop and implement adequate measures to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of physical violence and assaults against employees by patients or visitors.

High-profile workplace violence cases, many involving health care facilities, receive significant media coverage, making a difficult situation even more complex and potentially damaging. The negative publicity resulting from a workplace violence incident can adversely affect a company’s bottom line due to the loss of business, negative shareholder and investor reactions, and difficulties in borrowing the necessary funds to manage and grow the business.

On the litigation front, workplace violence lawsuits out-of-court settlements average $500,000 and the average jury award is $3 million, according to one study. Productivity takes a big hit, as well. According to another study, for six to 18 weeks after an incident happens, there is a 50% decrease in productivity.

Join us when our presenter, a safety lawyer who has helped many companies develop and implement effective workplace prevention programs, will provide critical insights to help your company successfully and comprehensively address this growing workplace challenge.

Learning Objectives
  • Apply working definitions that are helpful for understanding and framing workplace violence including both physical and non-physical/verbal abuse and assault
  • Identify key causes or origins of violence occurring in the workplace
  • Evaluate why OSHA issued workplace violence citations and penalties in specific cases,so you can avoid making the same mistakes those organizations made
  • Analyze the types of settings that may be “prone” to workplace violence due to various situational factors
  • Consider the responsibilities and legal requirements employers have when developing a comprehensive program to address potential workplace violence
  • Identify the roles key stakeholders play in developing your workplace violence prevention policy and program including where HR, legal, EHS, and senior management fit in
  • Solicit senior management commitment and support, probably the critical factor, in assuring that your workplace violence program is successful
  • Evaluate your facility to assess whether potential workplace violence situations may be more likely to erupt
  • Identify what your workplace violence prevention program should encompass, including components that address the preparedness, incident and post-incident phases
  • Train employees to detect signs of violence in the workplace, and what they should do to protect themselves


About Your Presenter

Tex McIver, Esq.
Partner
Fisher & Phillips LLP

Claud L. (Tex) McIver, Esq. is a partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP. In his 30-year career, he has assisted clients nationally and internationally in their compliance efforts involving all federal and state employment laws and has successfully defended employers in more than 200 union-organizing campaigns. He regularly handles contract negotiations, arbitrations, defense of corporate campaigns and the full range of strikes, lockouts and other interruptions of work. He has also written widely on employment law subjects and presented speeches and seminars to hundreds of business associations, bar associations and client groups concerning a broad range of employment law and legislative issues. He has been recognized numerous times for his legal contributions and has been cited as one of the “top legal minds” in Atlanta by Atlanta Lawyer magazine and named one of Georgia Trend magazine's Legal Elite in 2010 and 2011. He has been listed in Who's Who Legal USA Management Labour & Employment by the researchers at the International Who's Who Legal publication and was selected as a Client Service All-Star for 2011 in BTI Consulting Group’s survey where an elite group of attorneys are nominated by in-house counsel for their outstanding client service. Mr. McIver is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers. He has been listed in Chambers USA, America's Leading Business Lawyers since 2007 and in The Best Lawyers in America since 2006.

In 2012, Mr. McIver was appointed by the Georgia Attorney General to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General representing Gov. Nathan Deal and the State in the matter of Coleman et al. v Deal and Jackson. He was awarded the 2012 Highest Effort Award from Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity for his achievement in the field of law.
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