Conflicts between employees are inevitable and if left unresolved they can often create a negative work environment and affect productivity levels. In these scenarios, unfortunately, violence at work may arise.

Luckily, there are steps that can be taken to prevent workplace violence. Daniel Lublin has given some practical suggestions for employers in his recent Globe and Mail column, What to do when violence erupts in the workplace.

  1. Perform a proper investigation:  In any case of serious misconduct or allegations of fraud, employers must be able to demonstrate exactly what occurred and show that all of the circumstances were considered.  The same goes for violence at work. In more serious cases, this could require a third-party investigation.
  2. Consider all the facts:  If the conduct is out of character, there is probably a reason.  Find out what that reason is instead of learning about it in a lawsuit.
  3. Have patience:  Most employers tend to see their cases through rose-coloured glasses and are quick to rush to judgment, especially where there is a preferred outcome.  This only makes it worse.  Once an employer hits his or her breaking point, the company should slow down its decision-making process to cover all the bases, rather than speed it up.  The legal onus is squarely on the employer to do so.

The complete article can be found and read in the Globe and Mail.  Both employers and employees can educate themselves on how to deal with violence at work before it occurs by consulting with an employment expert.

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