Workplace Violence Rears Its Ugly Head….Again
October 6, 2011
Attention EEOC, here is a quandary employers struggle with on a daily basis; how do we protect our employees, customers and our reputation? Yesterday’s workplace shooting was proof that we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t!
Schools were on lockdown or closed in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino and nearby Los Gatos as police searched for the suspect, Shareef Allman. Allman, a truck driver at the quarry, had shown up at a safety meeting at the plant Wednesday morning armed with a rifle and a handgun and opened fire, authorities said. Three people were killed and six others injured at the facility.
Allman, who remains at large, also shot a Hewlett-Packard employee in the leg and carjacked her vehicle as he fled the scene, authorities said. The shooting victims were taken to Stanford Medical Center and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
What in the world does this have to do with background screening you say? Well after some intense digging we found some articles pointing to his criminal records. His criminal history that includes five convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license, and misdemeanor convictions for possession of stolen property and disturbing the peace. Are these convictions job related? Would they have raised any red flags with his employer? You be the judge. Some convictions can be misleading. Disturbing the peace can be anything from yelling at a police officer, to running down the street with a loaded gun. One will have a hard time explaining and justifying this to the families of the victims.
Its important for employers to educate themselves on the dangers of workplace violence and how they can help prevent it. EmployeeScreenIQ released a white paper last year on this very subject. Further, when checking an applicants criminal past, its important to look at everything, take no shortcuts and use this important information in determining if this applicant is a good fit for your organization!
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