Q. What should an employer do if an employee that is terminated threatens violent action against the company or towards another employee?
A. If law enforcement is not already involved, the employer should inform them of the threat. The employer should tell the former employee that, due to his or her conduct, he or she is not to return to the employer’s property for any reason and that law enforcement will be made aware of the threat. The employer should explain that employer property includes parking lots, outlying buildings, and remote work sites. The employer should make the employee aware that if he or she does return, law enforcement will be contacted immediately.
The employer should then alert anyone who may have been specifically mentioned in the threat. The employer should develop a plan of action if the individual returns to the workplace. The employer can provide a description of the employee to anyone who would be in a position to see the individual should they return to the employer’s property. This may include supervisors and any front office personnel such as a receptionist and security personnel. If the employer does not have professionally trained security staff, it may want to contact law enforcement for assistance. The employer should assure that exits to the building are secured from unauthorized entry and alert employees as to what to do should they see the person in question, i.e., contact security or emergency services directly.