Workplace Violence Rears Its Ugly Head….Again

Jason Morris

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!

SWAT teams were searching door to door with guns drawn Wednesday after a gunman killed three co-workers and wounded six at a morning meeting at a quarry in this Northern California city.

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.

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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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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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