MGT Workplace Violence short paper 103007

MGT Workplace Violence short paper 103007 - Workplace...

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Workplace Violence 1 Legal Challenges of Violence in the Workplace Explored Through Case Studies Southern Connecticut State University MGT 498 Patricia Terry J.D. October 29, 2007
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Workplace Violence 2 Abstract Since the adoption of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, demands have been placed on the part of the employer and the employee to follow safety and health regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration distributes information on how to protect employees. Those materials are readily accessible and by law should be made available by their employer. Violent acts in the workplace are not a recent occurrence, but from a legislative standpoint, they are relatively new to the court system. Workplace violence consists of hostile acts and in some of the early cases, the lower courts appear to struggle with defining exactly what constitutes a hostile act, specifically regarding Title VII cases. For example, Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986) 1 went through District Court, Court of Appeals, and finally the US Supreme Court before defining sexual harassment as a hostile environment. In contrast, the more recent courts cases have a much clearer picture of what Title VII violations are because of such precedent cases. In the case of Joseph v Pacific Bell (2006), supervisors not familiar with anti-discrimination policy lost when an educated employee advocated for himself. Because the Occupational Safety and Health Act has shifted the tort burden to employers to prevent violent acts in the workplace, employers have had to make tough decisions regarding hiring and termination policy. Therefore it is critical employers know potential violations. 1 The Oyez Project, Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), Retrieved Saturday, October 27, 2007 online from: <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_1979/> 2
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Workplace Violence 3 Introduction According to the regulatory agency The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers have the right to be free from physical assault, threatening behavior and verbal harassment. A workplace includes location and can be either permanent or temporary. A work related duty, such as fieldwork would include a remote location as well as the traveling to and from the job. Location also includes the building, garages, parking lot, and the facility grounds. 2 The OSHA Fact Sheet is a great quick reference guide to help both employers and employees plan, prepare, identify, act and re-act in to possible situations. The Fact Sheet describes several measures employers can take to reduce incidents of violence. These include a commitment to prevent violence, inform employees of acceptable
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course MGT 498 / 405 taught by Professor Terry during the Fall '07 term at S. Connecticut.

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MGT Workplace Violence short paper 103007 - Workplace...

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