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Workplace Violence: Issues in Response

NCJ Number
Eugene A. Rugala, Arnold . R. Isaacs
Date Published
80 pages
This monograph on the response to workplace violence focuses on prevention, intervention, threat assessment and management, crisis management, and critical-incident response; and in consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice, it offers legislative and research recommendations.
The guidance and recommendations presented were developed by a work-group of representatives from law enforcement, private industry, government, law, labor, professional organizations, victim services, the military, academia, mental health, and members of the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) and the Crisis Negotiation Unit of the Critical Incident Response Group. Four types of workplace violence are targeted in this monograph. They are violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the workplace; violence against employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or any other person for whom an organization provides services; violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a current or former employee; and violence in the workplace by someone who does not work there but has a personal relationship with an employee, i.e., an abusive spouse or domestic partner. A section on the prevention of workplace violence addresses planning and strategic issues. It includes a sample workplace violence policy statement, questions to be answered in a threat assessment, a sample threat assessment, and a review of what does not work in preventing workplace violence. Another section of this guide considers law enforcement's changing role in countering workplace violence. A section is devoted to addressing related types of workplace violence, namely, domestic violence and stalking in the workplace. Following a section on legal issues involved in workplace violence, a section discusses the special challenge of extending workplace-violence protection to small businesses, which typically lack specialized knowledge or skills in legal and human resources issues related to workplace violence. The remaining sections of the monograph consider a special case of violence against health care workers and how to deal with the aftermath of a violent incident in the workplace. Recommendations pertain to a public awareness campaign, workplace policies and plans, preventive law enforcement, the government's role, training, domestic violence and stalking in the workplace, legal and legislative issues, and suggestions for further research. Appended agenda and list of participants for the Workplace Violence Symposium in Leesburg, VA, on June 10-14, 2002.