Category Archives: Workplace Violence/Bullying

Should Managers Be Armed in the Workplace? Employers could be held liable if someone is injured

Source: Lisa Nagele-Piazza, SHRM, March 6, 2018

News of mass shootings and their tragic results have left many people wondering what can be done to prevent or mitigate the consequences of violent acts—including acts committed in the workplace. Should a few trained managers be allowed to carry guns at work? What are the risks and benefits? Employment law attorneys weighed in…..

Women report more rudeness at work from other women

Source: Futurity, February 21, 2018

Women report more incivility from other women at work than from male coworkers, according to a new study.

The phenomenon of women discriminating against other women in the workplace—particularly as they rise in seniority—has long been documented as the “queen bee syndrome.” As women have increased their ranks in the workplace, most will admit to experiencing rude behavior and incivility….

Further Understanding Incivility in the Workplace: The Effects of Gender, Agency, and Communion
Source: Allison S. Gabriel, Marcus M. Butts, Zhenyu Yuan, Rebecca L. Rosen, Michael T. Sliter, Journal of Applied Psychology, December 14, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Research conducted on workplace incivility—a low intensity form of deviant behavior—has generally shown that women report higher levels of incivility at work. However, to date, it is unclear as to whether women are primarily treated uncivilly by men (i.e., members of the socially dominant group/out-group) or other women (i.e., members of in-group) in organizations. In light of different theorizing surrounding gender and incivility, we examine whether women experience increased incivility from other women or men, and whether this effect is amplified for women who exhibit higher agency and less communion at work given that these traits and behaviors violate stereotypical gender norms. Across three complementary studies, results indicate that women report experiencing more incivility from other women than from men, with this effect being amplified for women who are more agentic at work. Further, agentic women who experience increased female-instigated incivility from their coworkers report lower well-being (job satisfaction, psychological vitality) and increased work withdrawal (turnover intentions). Theoretical implications tied to gender and incivility are discussed.

The Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Kit

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), January 25, 2018

Workplace violence is a serious hazard that many CUPE members face every day. The purpose of the kit is to provide members with resources to help protect them against violence and harassment in the workplace. Far too often, employers develop policies and procedures that only react to violence and harassment. This approach is not good enough. CUPE’s new kit focuses primarily on preventing violence and harassment in the workplace before it happens….

The Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Kit includes:
Guideline: Preventing violence and harassment in the workplace
Fact Sheet: Working alone
Violence and harassment legislation in Canada by Jurisdiction
Checklist: Sample violence hazard assessment/inspection
CUPE’s Code of Conduct
CUPE’s Equality Statement
Violent Incident Report
Checklist: Response to a violent incident
Bargaining Guide: Domestic violence in the workplace
Guideline: Stop harassment: a guide for CUPE locals
Workplace harassment and mental injuries: examining root causes
Fact Sheet: What is the duty to accommodate?

City of Discontent? The Influence of Perceived Organizational Culture, LMX, and Newcomer Status on Reported Bullying in a Municipal Workplace

Source: Tracy H. Porter, Nancy Day, Patricia Meglich, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Online First, December 19, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Workplace bullying is a counterproductive behavior that has captured the attention of researchers in recent years. The extent of reported bullying behavior in US organizations varies however; it is estimated to affect 15% to 50% of workers with projected annual costs of over $40 billion including direct and indirect costs. Workplace bullying poses a serious ethical challenge by sending messages about appropriate conduct within the organization’s culture. In this study, we focus on environmental factors as predictors of self-reported bullying in a public-sector organization. Specifically, the factors of interest are organizational culture, commitment to change, and leader-member exchange (LMX). We also investigate newcomer status and its relationship to reported bullying. Findings demonstrated perceived stability in the organization and higher levels of LMX showed lower levels of workplace bullying. Further, an organizational culture that emphasizes rewards lead to higher levels of bullying and newcomers are subjected to more bullying than longer service workers.

Humiliation at Work and Union Interest: An Empirical Analysis of Community Union Satisfaction as Related to Status Enhancement

Source: Steven Mellor, Katherine Holzer, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Online First, January 4, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
How noneconomic benefits claimed by labor unions relate to union interest is not well articulated. Based on Torres and Bergner’s (Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 38, 195–204, 2010; Psychotherapy, 49, 492–501, 2012) analysis of severe public humiliation, in which status enhancement underlies recovery, we examined an augmented relationship between humiliation at work (the underside of dignity at work) and willingness to join a union. As hypothesized, nonunion employees who were less detached from work showed more willingness to join when presented with evidence that members of a union were satisfied with community aspects of membership related to status enhancement above and beyond their satisfaction with economic aspects. Implications for union interest research and applications are discussed.

Oops, He (or She) Did It Again! Implementing a Best-in-Class Harassment-Free Workplace Program to Help Your Company Stay Out of the Headlines

Source: Amy L. Bess, Aaron R. Gelb, and Heather M. Sager, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 43, No. 3, Winter 2017
(subscription required)

While much has been written about workplace harassment, this article provides a refresher of the nuts-and-bolts aspects of an effective harassment prevention program—from preventive measures such as policies and procedures and management/employee training programs to key considerations and best practices to keep in mind should you find your company conducting an investigation, including important confidentiality considerations. Consistent adherence to these principles should help employers reduce the number of claims and better defend those that are brought.

Violence against emergency medical services personnel: A systematic review of the literature

Source: Brian J. Maguire, Peter O’Meara, Barbara. O’Neill, and Richard Brightwell, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, November 27, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Violence against emergency medical services (EMS) personnel is a growing concern. The aim of this systematic review is to synthesize the current literature on violence against EMS personnel.

We examined literature from 2000 to 2016. Eligibility criteria included English-language, peer-reviewed studies of EMS personnel that described violence or assaults. Sixteen searches identified 2655 studies; 25 studies from nine countries met the inclusion criteria.

The evidence from this review demonstrates that violence is a common risk for EMS personnel. We identified three critical topic areas: changes in risk over time, economic impact of violence and, outcomes of risk-reduction interventions. There is a lack of peer reviewed research of interventions, with the result that current intervention programs have no reliable evidence base.

EMS leaders and personnel should work together with researchers to design, implement, evaluate and publish intervention studies designed to mitigate risks of violence to EMS personnel.

Precarious schedules linked with workplace aggression in a high-risk occupation

Source: David A. Hurtado, Lisset M. Dumet, Samuel A. Greenspan, Miguel Marino and Kimberly Bernard, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, November 21, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Night work and prolonged work hours increase the risk for workplace aggression, however, the risk related to precarious schedules remains unknown.

Cross-sectional study among Parole Probation Officers (PPOs) (n = 35). A precarious schedules index was created including the following indicators (a) experiencing one or more unexpected shifts during the last 4 weeks; (b) having minimal control over work hours; and (c) shifts notifications of less than a week. Generalized Poisson Regressions estimated the association between precarious schedules and self-reported client-based aggressive incidents (verbal, threating, property, or physical) during the last 12 months.

Workplace aggression was highly prevalent (94.3%). PPOs who experienced precarious schedules (74.3% prevalence) had an adjusted rate of workplace aggression 1.55 times greater than PPOs without precarious schedules (IRR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.25, 1.97, P < 0.001). Conclusions Precarious schedules were associated with workplace aggression. Further research ought to examine whether improving schedule predictability may reduce client-based aggression.

Workplace violence injury in 106 US hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN), 2012-2015

Source: Matthew R. Groenewold, Raymond F.R. Sarmiento, Kelly Vanoli, William Raudabaugh, Susan Nowlin and Ahmed Gomaa, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, OnlineFirst, November 20, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Workplace violence is a substantial occupational hazard for healthcare workers in the United States.

We analyzed workplace violence injury surveillance data submitted by hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) from 2012 to 2015.

Data were frequently missing for several important variables. Nursing assistants (14.89, 95%CI 10.12-21.91) and nurses (8.05, 95%CI 6.14-10.55) had the highest crude workplace violence injury rates per 1000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. Nursing assistants’ (IRR 2.82, 95%CI 2.36-3.36) and nurses’ (IRR 1.70, 95%CI 1.45-1.99) adjusted workplace violence injury rates were significantly higher than those of non-patient care personnel. On average, the overall rate of workplace violence injury among OHSN-participating hospitals increased by 23% annually during the study period.

Improved data collection is needed for OHSN to realize its full potential. Workplace violence is a serious, increasingly common problem in OHSN-participating hospitals. Nursing assistants and nurses have the highest injury risk.