Another workplace shooting. This time in New York City. A former employee shot and killed a co-worker, but what caught our eye were quotes from another co-worker. She told a reporter from the New York Times that "If Steve [the victim] needed something, rather than go to one of the owners, he'd go right to Jeff [the shooter]…'I need a sample in blue, right away,' And Jeff wouldn't take orders from him…As time goes by, you could walk down the hallway and see an elbow being thrown or a shoulder being shoved, or a comment."
Violence in the workplace seems more and more prevalent. The first steps toward a solution are a clearly written policy and supervisory training. In the policy, the company should set forth a culture of courtesy and respect and prohibit any and all statements and conduct which are threatening, intimidating, coercive and violent. Like an anti-harassment policy, the anti-violence policy should list examples of prohibited conduct, such as horseplay, threats, pushing, shoving and other unwanted touching. Companies should also prohibit the possession of weapons on the worksite and, in compliance with laws in a number of states, post a notice prohibiting weapons on its worksite. Employees and supervisors should have the confidence to report violence to higher level managers who should report all incidents to human resources for investigation and action. These actions may include suspending the alleged perpetrator with or without pay, pending the results of the investigation. By having a policy, investigating and taking decisive action, companies are able to protect their employees and maintain a safe working environment.