Case Study :?In Hindsight, We Could See It Coming?

This case study consists of a short reading from Klingner, Nalbandian, and Lorens (2010) Public Personnel Management) and the case facts, ?in Hindsight, We Could See It Coming? (pp. 297-298) that accompany the reading. Students are expected to read the material in Klingner et al., and Berman, et al., chapter 8 Family Friendly Policies in preparation for analyzing the actual case facts. Students are to respond to the 4 questions at the end of the case facts. Be sure to elaborate your responses to the four questions by providing access to your thinking about the conclusions for each of the four questions, including references to scholarly journals..Scoring Rubric:The following rubric applies to scoring the calculation of the violence in the workplace case analysis that is due April2 2015 to Turnitin. The maximum number of points for a case analysis or calculation assignment is 10 points. A score of 9 to 10 points is equivalent to the letter grade of A, with 9 points equivalent to an A-. The letter grade of B is distributed as follows: B+ (8.7 or higher), B (8.3 to 8.6), and B- (8.0 to 8.2). The rationale for the letter grade of B also applies to the letter grade of C.? 10 points ? Exceptional quality in terms of composition, syntax, format and substance. Substance is defined as crafting arguments and claims that are supported with relevant references from scholarly journals and other references. Follows American Psychological Association (APA) conventions for in-text citations and references. A minimum of 3 to 5 recent references (recency of 3 to 5 years) from scholarly journals and other academic sources (not including references to class texts). Each question is thoroughly investigated and explored.? 9 points ? Same as above, except that there may be 1 to 2 minor errors in APA conventions, 1 to 2 questions require additional elaboration, not less than 1 to 2 recent scholarly up to five years old) that support written responses to questions, not including class texts.? 8 points ? Same as above, except that there may be a combination of 3 or more minor and/or serious errors in APA conventions, more than 2 questions requiring additional elaboration, at least 1 scholarly references, not including class texts.? 7 or points ? Student not writing at expected level for graduate students in the Askew School, most questions require additional elaboration or have serious errors in composition, syntax, grammar; additional references from scholarly sources not included, and statistical calculation incorrect with serious calculation errors.Additional recommended reading:? Workplace Violence, U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA: Workplace Homicides from Shootings, Bureau of Labor Statistics: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Occupational Violence: Harrell, E. (2013). Workplace violence against government employees, 1994-2011. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved October 31, 2015 from Violence (from Klingner, D. E., Nalbandian, J., and LorensJ. (2010). Public Personnel Management. N.Y: Longman/Pearson, pp. 297-298.According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, workplace assaults injure an estimated 1.7 millionworkers each year; in addition , violent workplace incidents account for 18 percent of allviolent crime in the United States Liberty Mutual, in its annual Workplace Safety Index,cites ?assaults and violent acts? as the tenth leading cause of nonfatal occupational injury in 2002, representing about 1 percent of all workplace injuries and a cost of $400 million. During the thirteen-year period from 1992 to 2004, an average of 807 workplace homicides occurred annually in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of FatalOccupational Injuries (CFOI). The number of workplace homicides ranged from a high of 1,080 in 1994 to a low of 551 in 2004, the lowest number since CFOI began m 1992.Ours is a violent society, and it is not surprising that this violence carries over to the workplace. In recent years, organizational scholars have increasingly focused on various forms of bad behavior in the workplace, including deviance, aggression, antisocial behavior, and violence. OSHA and the Department of Justice classify victims of workplace violence as follows:? Stranger violence: Victims have no business relationship with the perpetrators. Thisincludes cab drivers, sales clerks, gas station attendants, and police. The main motiveis robbery. About 80 percent of workplace homicides are of this type.? Client violence: A current or former client, customer, or patient attacks victims.Common settings are hospitals, psychiatric facilities, mental health clinics, drugabuse centers, long-term care facilities, prisons, and schools.? Employee violence: Victims are current or former employers, spouses, or significantothers of the perpetrators.Workplace Violence and Public EmployeesPublic employees are at particular risk from client violence. They must serve all segmentsof the population, including many who are mentally ill, have convictions for violent crimes, or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Further, they must enforce laws, rules, and policies that are unpopular. Potentially violent ?customers? are not inclined to distinguish between levels of government or types of agencies. They can resent local government officials simply because they dislike the national government?s policies.A 1997 Department of Justice survey indicated that although public employees made up only 16 percent of the US, workforce, 37 percent of the victims of workplace violence work in local state and federal government. Women are likely to be victims of employee violence. Workplace homicide was the greatest cause of death among female workers from 1980 to 1985. A National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) report found that homicides accounted for 12 percent of workplace deaths among men and 42 percent among women. Some workplace violence is attributed to domestic violence: husbands and boyfriends commit 13,000 acts of violence against women in the workplace every year. Abusive husbands and lovers harass 74 percent of employed battered women at work?either in person or over the telephone?causing 56 percent of them to be late at least five times a month, 28 percent to leave early at least five days a month, and 54 percent to miss at least three full days of work annually in lost productivity, increased health-care costs, absenteeism, and workplace violence.Beyond these costs, workplace violence has a less measurable impact on employee stress and organizational climate. Organizations that are already working to establish principles of objectivity and fairness as part of alternative dispute resolution procedures under a workforce diversity program will find these efforts undermined by workplace violence or the threat of it.Employers? Legal Liability for Employee ViolenceEmployers may be reluctant to confront workplace violence because they fear that if they know that an employee is being abused and do nothing, they will be sued. Nevertheless, this may happen in any event. Under the traditional doctrine of respondent superior, an employer is ?vicariously? liable for the violent actions of its employees as long as (1) the employee is acting within the scope of his employment, (2) the employer authorized the employee?s action, or (3) the employer ratified the employee?s actions subsequent to the occurrence. Courts have also held employers liable to victims under the theory of negligent hiring, retention, and referral. Under these theories, courts have established that there is a duty that the employer owes its employees, customers, suppliers, and other individuals who meet its employees. An employer can be liable for acts of violence committed by current or former employees: for (1) negligent hiring if it failed to verify references or employment gaps which could indicate the applicant had spent time in prison; (2) negligent retention if it is aware that an employee has dangerous or violent tendencies but takes no action to reclassify or discharge the employee; or (3) negligentreferral for terminating an employee for violent behavior and then failing to disclose the violent behavior to prospective employers during reference checks, or providing a positive letter of recommendation to the employee. To establish employer liability, a victim generally must show that the employer breached the duty it owed to the victim and the employer?s breach of that duty ?caused? the victims injury. The principal means of limiting or expanding employer liability for negligent hiring and retention claims is the requirement of ?reasonable foreseeability.? The stronger the connection between the information known or available to the employer and the harm ultimately suffered, the greater the likelihood that the employer will be found liable for negligence.Employers who attempt to screen job applicants for violent tendencies run the risk of violating applicants? civil tights. For example, Title V I I of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from refusing employment or discharging employees based on (1) an arrest record (since an arrest is not a conviction); or (2) a criminal conviction unless the prospective employer can establish that the conviction would indicate that the applicant poses ?a substantial and foreseeable threat to the safety of individuals or property.? Liability issues are not limited to the hiring process. Employers who attempt to discharge an employee for violent outbursts, threatening staff, or demonstrating odd and erratic behavior can also be sued under the ADA. Under this law, employees who exhibit these behaviors may have a legally protected disability, for which the employer must make a reasonable accommodation prior to considering termination However, given the human, legal and financial risks of workplace violence, there is widespread agreement that employers should institute a zero-tolerance policy for direct physical assault or the threat of assault,Employer Responses to Workplace ViolenceIn 2005, the BLS and NIOSH conducted a comprehensive survey about workplace violencepolicies, covering 7.4 million employers with 128 million employees. Survey results indicated that 5 percent of all employers had had an incident of workplace violence in the past year. The rate for state and local government agencies was three times this average. Although about a third of the employers reported that the incident had a negative effect on their workplace, 9 percent still had no policy on workplace violence.What precautions can employers take to protect themselves and their employees from workplace violence? First, employers should examine hiring policies and procedures to be sure that information about gaps i n employment, disciplinary action from former employers, use of illegal drugs, and previous criminal convictions are available to those making a hiring decision. References should be checked with at least two prior employers and document everything that is said about the prospective employee in the event they were not disclosing all the relevant facts. A criminal background check may be worthwhile depending on the position.Second, profiling is not an effective risk management technique. The characteristic profile of the violence prone employee is a middle aged white male with seniority of five to fifteen years who owns or collects guns and has few social ties. Because many nonviolent employees also fit this profile, employers should work to create an employee culture that makes violence unthinkable. They should take verbal and physical violence seriously and establish a ?zero tolerance? policy that sets consequences for perpetrators. An employer who moves immediately to stop dangerous behavior at the first instance cannot be blamed for allowing it to continue past the point at which when a reasonable person might conclude that the violence-prone employee was placing coworkers or clients at risk. Furthermore, it is usually easier to discipline or separate an employee for misconduct than it is for poor performance. All incidents of workplace violence should be reported to the police for investigation and possible criminal prosecution.Managers should be aware of the link between workplace violence and deteriorating organizational culture. If people communicate freely with each other and with management, threats will be reported more readily and agency values will be transmitted more clearly. Supervisors should be trained i n how to handle verbal violence. The best form of prevention is to remain calm and decide on the best course of action, listening carefully and being interested in what the angry person is saying. The objective is to let the angry person calm down and lead him or her to focus more on facts rather than on opinions or personality dynamics.Case Facts: ?In Hindsight We Could See It Coming?In the predawn hours on February 9, 1996, a disgruntled former park and recreation departmentemployee, Clifton McCree, burst into the maintenance trailer where six of his former coworkers were starting their day?s work. In five minutes, six people were dead of gunshot wounds: Clifton McCree had killed five of the six coworkers, and then had turned the gun upon himself; one coworker escaped to tell the story of horror and death.After eighteen years of employment, Clifton McCree had been discharged from the City of Ft. Lauderdale in October of 1994 after failing a drug test. After this, he had been unable to find steady work, and he had grown increasingly depressed and angry over what he saw as racial discrimination and retaliation by white employees and supervisors. Mr. McCree had a history of workplace confrontations with coworkers. In the past, other employees had complained about his occasional threats to kill them. His supervisors had counseled him informally about the need to control his temper. Although he frequently went into rages, and coworkers were afraid of him, his supervisors and other employees had avoided formal complaints and tried to handle the problem initially because they did not want him to lose his job. Despite his temper, he continued to receive satisfactory performance evaluations for nine years, and there was no formal record of his problems. Finally, in 1993, after a screaming match with a white coworker, McCree?s supervisor counseled him informally.Personnel Policies and ProceduresIronically, the problem came to head just days after the City issued a new policy on workplace violence in 1994. This policy grew out of another tragedy ? the murder of two lawyers in a downtown office building earlier that year. The City?s policy was designed to raise awareness of what a potentially violent worker might do, and it set up a procedure for handling such incidents.Immediately after the policy was issued, the supervisor came to the park and recreation department director, who had just come on the job a few weeks before, and told her about Clifton McCree. Within days, she had interviewed other workers and prepared a chilling memo detailing McCree?s threats and racial slurs against his coworkers. The memo indicated that McCree exhibited at least five of the warning signs of potential trouble, including threats, paranoid behavior, and a fascination w i t h workplace violence. City officials acted quickly, ordering a psychiatric evaluation and a drug test within days. By the end of the month, McCree had been suspended without pay; he flunked the drug test and his firing was in the works. Until the day of the murders, eighteen months to the day after his discharge, he never returned to his workplace.The Postmortem: Should the City Have Done Anything Differently?In hindsight, it is difficult to find fault with anyone?s actions. Most coworkers and supervisors would initially attempt to counsel a troubled employee informally because they were his friends and they knew he needed the job. With no formal counseling taking place, there would be no written record of previous performance incidents upon which to base a negative performance evaluation. When formal counseling finally occurred in 1993, it was only because coworkers had exerted pressure on management to do something. The City developed a clear and responsible policy on workplace violence in 1994. This policy led to a strong and immediate response by the park and recreation department, and it was the department director?s memo that led the City to take action. Appropriately, Clifton McCree was removed from work pending psychiatric evaluation and drug testing. He tested positive and was discharged. Yet six people died. In addition to the human tragedy, the City will undoubtedly face civil charges from the victims? families, alleging that the City knew that Clifton McCree was violent but did not take adequate precautions to protect coworkers against violenceQuestions1. In hindsight, what do you think the city could have done differently (if anything)? Explain and elaborate your thinking.2. Under the standard of ?reasonable foreseeability? and EEOC laws, do you think the city can be held liable for failure to take more timely action against Clifton McCree? Identify and discuss at least three theories of liability? Elaborate your explanation.3. Did the cities prompt and responsible action to discharge under its new work place policy in fact increases the chance of workplace violence?4. Identify and explain three family friendly policies or programs, such as those discussed in the Berman chapter class text or other scholarly sources that serve to reduce or prevent violence in the workplace. Elaborate your explanation for each of the three policies or programs.Category: Essay Writing

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