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When You Least Expect It.....
January 10, 2013


Employee Rights News You Can Use


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Date January 10, 2013!!

Issue #46


Well, here we are the calendar has turned again on a New Year. I must say 2012 was one of the most challenging years for me professionally and personally.

But, I look forward to being able to devote more attention to one of my biggest passions....defending the rights of employees!

That said, it's my hope and prayer that you and yours enjoy a happy and prosperous 2013!

Let's get to it!



When You Least Expect It...

What does each of these horror stories have in common?

December 14, 2012

Newtown, CT

Killed 27 (plus shooter = 28)

Wounded unknown

Sandy Hook Elementary School

August 5, 2012 Oak Creek, WI Killed 6 (plus shooter = 7) Wounded 3 Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

July 20, 2012 Aurora, CO Shooter Killed 12 Wounded 58 The Dark Knight Rises: Movie Theater Shooting

September 6, 2011 Carson City, NV Killed 4 (plus shooter = 5) Wounded 7 Carson City IHOP

January 8, 2011 Tucson, AZ Killed 6 Wounded 13 U.S. Rep. Gabriel Giffords Congress on Your Corner Tucson grocery store

August 3, 2010 Manchester, CT Killed 8 (plus shooter = 9) Wounded 2 Hartford Beer Distributor

November 5, 2009 Fort Hood, TX Killed 13 Wounded 30 Fort Hood

April 3, 2009 Binghamton, NY Killed 13 (plus shooter = 14) Wounded 4 American Civic Association

February 14, 2008 DeKalb, IL Killed 5 (plus shooter = 6) Wounded 21 Northern Illinois University

December 5, 2007 Omaha, NE Killed 8 (plus shooter = 9) Wounded 5 Westroads Mall

April 16, 2007 Blacksburg, VA Killed 32 (plus shooter = 33) Wounded 17 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

December 26, 2000 Wakefield, MA Killed 7 Wounded 0 Edgewater Technology Office

November 2, 1999 Honolulu, HI Killed 7 Wounded 0 Xerox Office Building

April 20, 1999 Littleton, CO Killed 13 (plus shooters = 15) Wounded 23 Columbine High School

They all involved the use of a gun.

However, there is something else they all share in common.

Some were schools even a place of worship, but they were all workplaces! Sometimes because of the shock and horror of these tragedies we forget these are also examples of workplace violence. Unfortunately, the sobering reality is this....your workplace could be next. The following is a guide for employees and employers to use when looking for possible warning signs of potential violence from co-workers including supervisors or managers. Violence can happen at work when you least expect it. Potential violent behavior at work could look like this....

  • Anyone always angry

  • Co-worker believes everyone's wrong but he or she?

  • Employee always makes derogatory or negative comments about diverse groups

  • Brags about his or her knowledge and love of firearms

  • Statements like, "I wish I was a soldier blowing those #@%*& away in Iraq or Afghanistan!

  • Co-worker that likes to intimidate others

  • Issues with drug use or medications

  • Does your co-worker love to talk about violent video games or movies?

  • Anyone very impatient or easily angered?

  • Have you noticed extreme mood swings in other employees or managers?

  • Co-worker always a loner or anti-social?

These a re just a few of the potential signs to be aware of. However let me make this clear, NEVER assume any or all of these signs mean someone is a threat to themselves or others. Being aware does not mean being paranoid. A workplace where distrust, suspicion and dishonesty exist is always a recipe for failure.

Workplace violence is an ugly reality that reflects an overall problem in American society. That said, every reasonable measure to ensure and provide a secure and stable work environment demands accountability and responsibility of employers and employees alike. Understand, most employees may show some workplace violence waring signs but will never take violent action. Employees for the most part will have a range of personality and emotional issues. However, that doesn't mean they are mass murder terrorists waiting to snap.

Finally, the following are some action reasonable actions everyone at work can take minimize the potential for a violent tragedy......

  • Screen without discriminating visitors or strangers

  • Report to appropriate management any concerns in confidence

  • Pay reasonable and rational attention to comments from co-workers experiencing divorce or abuse

  • Obviously and immediately address threats of retaliation or violence

  • Restrict access of work areas to only current employees or properly screened visitors

  • Managers should have someone else present when the need for terminating arises

  • Employers and employees must understand and comply with security guidelines

  • Employers MUST enforce all local, state and federal guidelines associated with the rights of employees!!

The bottomline for us all to understand is this....minimizing the potential for workplace violence is the responsibility of the total local communities in which each of us live. Apathy and indifference are the best fuel for violence not only in the workplace but society as a whole.

Watching your employment back till next time...



Employee Rights Educator, Coach, Trainer, Advocate, Internet Business Presence Consultant (work in progress)


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Your Basic Employee Rights eNews is published the first week of the month, 12 weeks per year. From time to time we will publish special features that affect employees in the workplace. We may also offer third party resources that will be of benefit to you our valued subscriber.



Note: Any and all information provided within this Newsletter/Ezine is for educational and general information purposes only. It is NOT INTENDED as legal advice. Please review this specific disclaimer;


Written by Yancey Thomas Jr.


(c)copyright 2012


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