Wednesday, November 18, 2009
After the fatal shooting in Orlando, FL and the mass murders at Fort Hood in Texas, the issue of workplace violence has America buzzing again.
The Fort Hood incident has received a lot of media coverage already and is one of those terrifying incidents that remind us all that people are unpredictable and that they can be violent. Due to the large-scale terror inflicted by the gunman at Fort Hood, much of the incident in Orlando was under covered by the media.
After one year at an engineering firm in Orlando, Jason Rodriguez was fired for failure to improve performance. Over the next two years, Rodriguez apparently never got over the termination and returned to the job killing one employee and injuring others.
While rare, these types of incidents remind people in our industry of exactly why background checks are down. Not all workplace violence result in death or serious injury, but we should all be aware of the escalation that can occur. Those instances of non-lethal violence such as stalking, threats, intimidation, harassment or property destruction often go unreported. Bullying can escalate and most businesses, at some point, experience some form of work place violence.
Background checks are important for finding out if a person has a past history of violence, but it is important to remember that if somebody has no past, there is really know way of knowing if they are capable of such violence.