Workplace Harassment Analysis

486 words | 2 page(s)

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] website, workplace violence falls into four separate categories: Type I- Crimes committed against an employee by someone not connected to the workplace; Type II- Crimes committed against an employee by a client, student, inmate, etc. (basically anyone to whom the workplace provides services); Type III- Crimes committed against employees (includes supervisor, managers, etc.) by current or former employees; and Type IV- Crimes committed against an employee by someone who does not work at the organization, but has a personal relationship with the person (e.g., abusive spouse) (FBI, 2002). These crimes can include any of the following acts of violence: homicide, assault, stalking, sexual harassment, physical and emotional abuse, bullying, intimidation, vandalism, verbal abuse, and robbery.

Sources of workplace violence can include any of the following: 1)Type I- robbery, assault, sexual assault, hostage taking, etc. by a total stranger; 2) Type II- patients in hospitals, disgruntled customers in a store, or student shoots professor; Type III- two employees get into an altercation, angry employee attacks a superior, sexual harassment between employees, etc.; and Type IV- An angry spouse or other related person comes to employees job and commits a violent act against him/her or another employee (FBI, 2002).

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are three levels of warning signs: Level One (Early Warning Signs), Level Two (Escalation of the Situation), and Level Three (further Escalation, which often involves emergency action). Level one includes behaviors such as intimidation, verbal abuse, disrespect, and bullying. Level Two includes more serious behaviors such as, threatening notes/voicemails/text messages, refusal to obey company policies, sabotage of other person’s work, and vandalism. Level Three behaviors are the most serious and often require emergency action: suicide threats, physical violence, and extreme rage (DOL, n.d.).

It seems as though Type III (employee against employee) would be the most preventable of all the different types of workplace violence. While many measures can be put into place that help prevent the other three forms, Type III stands out in that it seems the most controllable. In other words, an organization (theoretically) has more “control” over its employees (which are both of the perpetrators in this case) than it does over outsiders (e.g., strangers, past employees, or spouses of employees). If a company could set into place a policy that helps educate employee regarding workplace violence, then it could be very successful at preventing this type of crime.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice. (2002). Workplace violence: Issues
    in response: Report from the Critical Incidence Response Group, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/workplace-violence
  • United States Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and
    Management (n.d.). DOL workplace violence program. Retrieved from

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