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Detroit-–-June 13, 2016––Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C., says employers are on edge following the tragic Orlando shootings and reports that the shooter, Omar Mateen, told co-workers of his threats to kill. At least one co-worker of Mateen, who worked since 2007 as a security guard for British-based G4S, is reported to have told management about Mateen’s violent threats and ugly language.
“The increase in mass shootings and employees with violent tendencies make it an extremely challenging environment for employers today, but the overarching concern must always be with the safety of the employees and the workplace,” Patricia Nemeth, founder of Nemeth Law, said.
Nemeth explains that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act require employers to provide a working environment free from harassing behavior.
“As part of this obligation, employers should have a written policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, height, weight and marital status,” Nemeth said. “Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to provide a safe workplace free from recognizable hazards that may cause death or serious harm to employees. Under OSHA, an employer may be on notice of a risk of workplace violence if it receives complaints of threats, intimidation or other indicators of potential violence.”
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the risks associated with workplace violence can be minimized if employers maintain a written zero-tolerance workplace violence policy that is applied to all employees, contractors, visitors, customers and anyone else who comes into contact with company personnel.
“As with complaints of harassing behavior, employers should carefully investigate and respond to any complaints of threatening or intimidating behavior, implementing appropriate discipline if necessary to end the behavior,” Nemeth said. “If management receives information that an employee has made threats of violence or exhibited other behaviors indicating the employee intends to commit a crime, management needs to take action. Such action may be immediately contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency, as well as enforcing its own internal employment policies.”
About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Nemeth Law specializes in arbitration, mediation, workplace investigations, employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation/training for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.