Five people are dead and more injured after a workplace shooting in Orlando, Florida the morning of June 5th, 2017. Police are still searching for answers as to the motive of the shooter, but early reports indicate the assailant was a former worker at the warehouse where the shootings took place.
Acts of workplace violence are not uncommon in America. Each year, hundreds of incidents take place. There are a variety of motives for these incidents, including:
- Disgruntled employees or former employees seeking retribution for perceived slights
- Individual employees targeted in domestic violence-related incidents
- Random acts of violence, where it is difficult to ascertain why the assailant chose the place he did
Primary responsibility for these terrible tragedies falls on the assailant. But many times, there are ways that workplaces can reduce the likelihood of these things occurring. Too often, management and ownership are aware of people making threats and do nothing to make things safer. This is especially true of situations involving past employees who make clear their anger to management on their way out.
There are a variety of steps management can take if they have cause to believe an attack is possible. Limiting access to the building, taking additional security measures, and working with local police are just some of those steps. Clear communication with staff regarding what to do if a former employee shows up unexpectedly is a necessity when dealing with potentially dangerous individuals.
Businesses have a duty of care when it comes to keeping their workers safe, and that duty includes protecting them from preventable acts of violence. If you or someone you love has been the victim of workplace violence, determining whether or not proper steps were taken to decrease the likelihood of such an event occurring is important. Please contact an experienced attorney who can help you investigate what management knew and what steps could have been taken to make things safer for everyone.