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How to Recognize Work Place Violence
Any situation that involves more than one person is bound to include some differences in opinions. That is not necessarily bad, as difference can lead to innovation and change. However, especially in the work place, where people vie for promotions and raises, unresolved disagreements can lead to violence. So what defines work place violence, and what are the defining characteristics that differentiate it from natural social friction?
First of all, if there has been any physical violence in the work place, get help immediately. There should be no debate on this being violence. Depending on the degree of violence committed, the Human Resources department of your employer, police, and/or the hospital should be contacted.
With harassment, intimidation, or threats that are more psychological than physical, the situation gets trickier. For example, a coworker could think that he or she is being funny and make jokes that you perceive as a threat. While that coworker could certainly have only meant well, it is advised that you talk about the issue with him or her. It does not have to be a serious conversation; bring up the topic casually, if it is more comfortable for you, and clearly express that you felt uncomfortable and expect that similar situations do not happen again in the future.
If he or she continues to make you feel uncomfortable with harassment, intimidation, or threats, it is advised that you address issues with your employer. Any sort of swearing, inappropriate gestures, and bullying can be seen as work place violence. It certainly does not have to be life-threatening to be perceived as violence in the eyes of the law. Therefore, you should be able to comfortably and safely discuss your position with your employer. Some employers have a written policy regarding their definition of work place violence and how they handle situations that involve such. It is recommended that you obtain a copy of that policy.
If you are still unsure if your case involves work place violence, or if you are not receiving help you’re your employer, contact the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, which defends the rights of the workers to a safe workplace. By law, employers are required to provide their employees with safe and healthful work places. You may file a complaint through OSHA as well. Your information will be kept confidential.
Another way to find out if your rights have been denied is to contact a law office. Often, you will get a more direct, prompt response through this method. Visit this website to find more in-depth information on protective orders in San Diego.
Paul advises people on divorce and family law matters. You can find his thoughts at Wordpress blog.
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