Workplace Violence: Can the Risk be Mitigated?

By Martha J. Zackin

Workplace violence is once again in the headlines, due to the horrific, on-air murders of a journalist and cameraman allegedly by a disgruntled former employee of the television station that employed the two victims.

But what exactly is workplace violence?  Workplace violence, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), may be defined as violent acts, including physical assaults and threats of assault, directed toward persons at work or on duty.  The results of workplace violence may range from offensive language to homicide; the circumstances may include robbery-associated violence; violence by disgruntled clients, customers, patients, inmates, residents, and the like; violence by coworkers, employees, or employers; and domestic violence that finds its way into the workplace.

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Government Contractors- Industry Groups Ask White House to Stop Targeting Contractors

In recent years, President Obama has issued twelve Executive Orders directed at government contractors, resulting in the enactment of numerous and burdensome regulations.  On August 3, 2015, four industry groups wrote to White House advisors expressing their concern that these changes have had the unintended impact of significantly increasing the costs of doing business with the government, and respectfully asking that no further Executive Orders focused on government contractors be issued.  A copy of the letter may be found here.

Although not referenced in the letter, EO 13,673, pertaining to Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, is of particular concern to contractors.  As described in an earlier blog post (here), this Executive Order requires contractors to disclose whether there have been any administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment rendered against the contractor within the preceding 3 years for violations of any one of fourteen federal labor and employment laws, or any equivalent state law.

We hope the White House listens.