Michael J. Hanlon, Shareholder in Buchanan’s Labor, Employment, Benefits & Immigration Section, recently was quoted by Law360 about how to minimize workplace violence in light of the recent on-air shooting of two journalists by a former colleague. The article addresses crisis management plans, secure workplaces and minimizing labor law liability.

As Hanlon explains, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and similar laws, it is the duty of employers to keep workplaces safe and free of hazards. Part of keeping workplaces safe is to secure them from outside threats.

“We’ve moved into a world where workplaces are secured for a lot of reasons, to ensure that only people who belong inside are inside,” Hanlon says, noting that badges, security cards and key fobs, and security guards are some ways to help secure an office.

Hanlon also describes the importance of having a crisis management plan in place to help protect from internal and external threats and to help minimize the risk of liability from violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Labor Relations Act and other labor laws.

“The first issue really is to have policies and procedures in place to address appropriate behavior,” he says.

“Some kind of litigation, unfortunately, might be the cost of doing business,” he also explains, because there could be greater consequences to not taking any action at all.

Read the full article (subscription required) – “3 Tips For Minimizing Workplace Violence” (Law360, September 1, 2015)