Workplace Violence Prevention


>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Good morning, and welcome to the Virtual Training Center. This is Jodi Traversaro with the Statewide Learning and Performance Management Section for the Department of Personnel Administration. Our presentation today will be on workplace violence prevention, and I am thrilled to have the California Highway Patrol offer this webinar to the state work force. And our presenter today is Officer Richard Fuentes from   the California Highway Patrol. Officer Richard Fuentes has been employed as a California Highway Patrol Officer for 17 years. His previous   assignments include the duties of an investigator, patrol officer, dignitary protection officer, and public relations officer in the city of Baldwin Park,   Pasadena, Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno, and Oakland. He’s currently assigned as the CHP Safety Services Program coordinator, which   makes him a perfect candidate to provide this webinar to us. Major components of the Safety Services Program include the Workplace Violence Prevention, Crime Prevention, and Emergency Preparedness programs.   instructor and is certified as an advanced instructor by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. He has taught many in service training courses for the CHP and has served as an evaluator with the Tulare/King Counties Police Academy. Additionally, Officer Fuentes has completed a myriad of POST certified training courses in advanced criminal investigations and is a certified   EMT instructor. So I’d like to thank Officer Fuentes for joining us today and we will begin our webinar.>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Thanks, Jodi. I hope everybody can hear me well. As Jodi stated, my name is Officer Richard Fuentes and I do coordinate the CHP Safety Services Program, which is a very vital program for the CHP and, of course, all of our allied agencies that we service. Today we’re going to be   talking about workplace violence and some of you, I know, could possibly have experienced some type of workplace violence, whether it was at work or some other location. I don’t intend to invoke any type of traumatic memories of this incident, but rather, I’d like to be able to discuss   with you the topic of workplace violence so that we can have a better understanding of what it is and to discuss some ideas on how we can   what we can do to prevent it, and possibly mitigate its effect if it ever does unfortunately happen. The ultimate goal for this webinar is to hopefully make a safer workplace for you and your co workers. So I’d like to be able to show you a pre recorded short pre recorded video by   the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. Okay. Thanks to the Commissioner for giving us that brief introduction into workplace   violence, and he stresses, as stated in the video, that it’s a very, very important topic for the California Highway Patrol, and we strive to ensure that we are doing everything we can to hopefully eliminate and mitigate the effects of workplace violence. So this is the course content for today:   We’re going to be talking about what is workplace violence; the categories of; some statistics that we’re going to show you; some potential risk indicators that you may see as a precursor to workplace violence; some recent acts of workplace violence. Also going to be talking about some employer and employee responsibilities; the legal rights that you have in response to a workplace violence incident; ways to prevent it;   the summary; and some resources that I will provide you, hopefully, to give you a some more information on how to learn more about workplace violence prevention. And finally, we’ll open it up for questions. So I think we’re going to start off this presentation with a poll. So if we can   that first poll up. And the first question I have for everyone is: Does a workplace violence incident have to be a crime in order to be considered a   workplace violence incident? So I’d like for all of you to take a moment to answer that question and we’ll see what the results are. Looks like we’ve got some results coming in, but wow, a good I would say we’re up to like 97 percent, 97 percent of you have indicated that, no, it does not   have to be a crime. So that is absolutely correct and I’m glad that you know that. So we’re going to talk about the different types of workplace violence and the differences between a criminal act and a noncriminal act. So, great. So if we can go back to the slide. So, the three main course goals of today’s presentation are simple. I want to provide you an overview of violence in the workplace. Also, as mentioned earlier, possibly   identify some potential risk indicators of workplace violence, and discuss possible actions to prevent or mitigate the acts of workplace   violence. So we’ve already answered that question. So what is workplace violence? Well, in short, as you can see on your screen, it is any   physical assault, some type of threatening behavior or verbal abuse that occurs where you work, quite simply. And the workplace is defined as a location where you as an employee conduct your duties, but it can also be outside of your normal workplace. For example, we have a lot of workers that go out into the field, like law enforcement, for example, that the field is considered their workplace. So workplace violence can occur outside the normal what we would consider a normal workplace setting. So some examples of workplace violence and these   are what we maybe consider not rising to the level of criminal activity, but they may, but some of those are threats or obscene phone calls; intimidation, harassment by any type of nature; being followed, sworn at or yelled at by others; and some type of psychological trauma. Now,   some of the more obvious types of workplace violence, of course, include beatings, stabbings, homicides, suicides, shootings and rapes. And interestingly, suicides are included in workplace violence because, as you will see in a couple or one of the one of the case studies we’re going to   look at, suicide at times does involve workplace violence because the person who commits suicide at times will take people with him or with her, and that’s very unfortunate. So we’re going to be discussing that as well. So if we can get the next poll question up, and that is: How many categories of workplace violence are there? Now, there are different categories we’re going to talk about and we’ll break them down because there   are different types that are perpetrated by different individuals. So let’s go ahead and answer those questions. And the poll results are coming in. Okay, it looks like a good majority of you have the right answer, so we’re up to like 60 60 percent of you state that there are four categories and that is correct. So we will go back to the slide and talk about these different categories. So these are the categories: We have   Category I and these are violence acts of violence that are perpetrated by strangers and these types of acts can involve verbal threats, physical   assaults, and basically, these individuals have no legitimate business to the workplace. They are typically individuals that have come in to   perpetrate a crime, such as robbery, or some type of criminal act, and believe it or not, violence by strangers, they are responsible for the majority   of the fatal injuries that occur in the workplace nationally. So it is a significant problem. And of course, there are more jobs there are other jobs that are more at risk. For example, late night retail establishments like 7 11s and your AM/PMs, and of course, maybe some other jobs like taxicab drivers. Category II, violence that is perpetrated by customers. Now, this type of event involves it can be either fatal or nonfatal. These are   individuals that enter the workplace, but come in as a customer. So a lot of state agencies, of course, service the public and we do have, at   times, assaults that occur on workers in the workplace, and so these type of individuals can include law enforcement, correctional personnel.   It can be transit workers, health care, social services, teachers, and so on and so on. Category III is violence by the co workers. Now,   we are seeing more and more of this, but unfortunately, it is a problem we have to deal with, and these, again, are events that occur in the workplace, perpetrated by someone that you work with in the workplace, and it can involve any type of physical act or some type of threatening manner by the co worker. And finally Category IV, violence by personal relations, and this can be a situation involving a person that you have a   relationship with that does not work with you and, for example, a relative or a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, that perpetrates some type of violence in the workplace against a co worker. So those are the four main categories. Now, we’re going to we’re going to talk about these again, so hopefully   you’ll remember some of these categories as we move on in the presentation. So some statistics for you. 2009, of the 301 Californians that died in the workplace, 78 were as a result of being attacked. Nationally, in 2005, over 19 million people complained of being harassed in the workplace. Nationally, also, 32 percent, over 40 million close to 41 million individuals reported some type of workplace violence. And as you can see there, unfortunately, government workers are nearly twice as likely to be victims of a workplace violence incident. Moving on with some other stats: The workplace homicide rate for California in particular is about one and one half times the national average. It’s higher than the national   average. And a breakdown of these particular events that have happened: 74 percent included shootings, seven percent stabbings, four percent from personal weapons which can include clubs or some other type of deadly weapon. And less than half of all workplace violence incidents are not reported. That should actually say “not reported” to the police. And so that is a figure that we’re hoping to improve because it’s the dark crime that we don’t have any idea of the stats on, so we’d like to be able to have more information on that. So, please, if you’re ever a victim of workplace violence, please do make the appropriate notifications. All right, moving on to our next poll question. And the question is: What   is considered a potential risk indicator in the workplace? And so we have choices of excessive absenteeism; instability in personal relationships; signs of depression; sudden outbursts; or all of the above. And looks like, wow, amazing 100 percent. Everybody answered “all of the above.” That’s great, great stuff. So I’m glad that everybody has a good idea of that. So if we can get back to the slide I’m talking about, potential   risk indicators. Now, what I want to say about risk indicators, these indicators in themselves do not necessarily mean if you actually do see one or two of these, that this person is going to be prone to some type of violent behavior in the workplace. It’s just important to remember that if you see one   or more of these coupled with other types of overt actions, that you immediately report it to your supervisor. Or in the case of an emergency, of   course, you’re going to dial 911. It’s just for you to have a better understanding and awareness of these indicators that will possibly help you be more aware of these type of this type of behavior. So let’s look at this. Sudden and persistent complaining about being treated unfairly. Sudden change in behavior. A deterioration in job performance. The inability to control your feelings, outbursts of rage, swearing, slamming doors. Inappropriate conduct on and off work which brings discredit to the person’s job is a key indicator. Some others include the increased   demand of supervisor’s time. The use of alcohol and/or drugs, abusing those things. Talking to oneself, possibly indicating some type of mental instability. Instability in family relationships. Financial problems combined with not receiving a raise or promotion. Poor relationships with your   co workers or your bosses. And the last list of indicators, we have history of violent behavior. Previous threats, direct or indirect. Bringing in   some reading material that is violent in nature. Carrying a concealed weapon, which could be not just a handgun, but could be a knife or could   be a club, some type of dangerous weapon. Quiet seething, sullenness. And finally, refusal to accept feedback about job performance. Now, these could also, all could be indicators of an individual who would be likely to commit some type of workplace violence, but it’s not there’s no guarantee, so I want to stress that. And the key here is to advise to let your supervisors know if you see any of these things in your co workers or   anyone else for that matter that enters the workplace. All right. So let’s talk about some recent high profile workplace violence incidents.   As you can see here, you have in front of you a shooting that occurred at the University of Alabama, in Huntsville, Alabama. A biology teacher, or a professor, during a a faculty meeting, open fired on 13 faculty members. She killed three and injured three others. And the only reason she was able well, she stopped, her nine millimeter pistol malfunctioned and she walked out of the meeting room. She was later arrested   by the police outside the building, and apparently, according to statements, she was angry about being denied tenured being tenured or being   permanently employed because of her erratic behavior at work. Interestingly, she was actually involved in a previous shooting at the age of 21 where she shot her 18 year old brother. According to the police, she was never charged because her mother stated that it was an accident, and thus, she was not charged. She remains incarcerated and is awaiting trial for the three murders. All right. So let’s ask a question: What   category if we can get that poll up. What category of workplace violence does this particular incident fall under? We’re talking about the shooting at the University of Alabama. So is it Category I, II, III or IV? It looks like we got 99 percent well, 97. 97 indicate that it’s violence by the co workers and that is absolutely correct. Absolutely correct. So great job. Let’s go back to the slide and we’ll take a look at the next scenario. Here’s another   unfortunate incident that occurred in Washington. Tacoma, Washington. A teacher who was on her way to school was murdered by suspect John   Waits, who apparently he was infatuated with her and killed her as she walked to school. He reportedly had some he was being he had a protective order against him, a restraining order against him because of some harassing behavior that he had perpetrated on the victim. And she did not want his affection, so she filed a restraining order against him, and thus, unfortunately, he committed this violent act and murdered her as   she walked to school. So let’s ask the next poll question: What category of workplace violence does this incident fall under? So let’s see, I see some of you are answering violence by strangers which is a good choice. Violence by customers, no, not quite. Co workers, not quite. It would probably fall under personal relations because, in fact, even though she did not want a personal relationship with this man, he was trying to involve her with this. And one thing I didn’t mention about that, they worked together years past at another location; so he obviously became   infatuated with her a while back. So I left out that key information for you. So good job on that. Back to the slide. The next workplace violence incident that I want to talk about is a mass shooting that occurred in Manchester, Connecticut, in August of 2010. This involved a lone gunman who shot he   was 34 years old shot and killed eight co workers before committing suicide. And if you remember earlier, I talked about suicide as being a workplace violence act. This is one of the reasons why, because as I mentioned, a lot of times they will unfortunately take people with them before they kill themselves. He made a 911 call to the police stating that he took matters into his own hands and that he considered his workplace a racist place, and, quote, I wish I could have got more of the people, unquote. So back to our poll question: What category of workplace violence is this? And looks like everybody is getting the idea here, and it looks like, yes, indeed, looks like 99 percent of you are   indicating that this is violence by a co worker, which is absolutely correct. So great job on answering that question. So back to the presentation. Two more incidents we’re going to talk about. The Yale University student murdered by a lab technician in September of 2009. This   involved a Yale graduate student who was conducting some research in the laboratory. She was murdered by a lab tech. Investigation   revealed that this lab tech was actually upset because he alleged that she, the lab tech person or I should say, the student, was not following the rules and thus became angry at her and took matters into his own hands, and unfortunately, killed her, and he is now, of course, incarcerated for that for that murder. So our next poll question is: What type of category of workplace violence is this? Is it I, II, III or IV? This is kind of a tricky one because she was a student and he was a lab tech technician, so we’ll see what people say here. Okay, the results are coming in. Looks like   we have well, a good majority of you have the right answer. Up to 77 percent of you have indicated this is a Category III, violence by a co worker. And yes, this would fall under that. He did not have a personal relationship with her, nor was he a customer or a stranger, so, yes, very good.   So Category III. Back to the presentation. And the last incident, and of course, I’m sure everybody knows about this. This the Fort Hood mass shooting that occurred several years ago, almost two years ago, involving a Major Hasan. He was actually a psychologist for the Army and was on the verge of being deployed overseas. He expressed his concern about being deployed and opened fire on November 5th, killing 13 of his own   Army co workers and injuring another 38. He was actually shot himself by responding law enforcement personnel and he was rendered paralyzed from the chest down as a result of being shot. He is now awaiting trial by the Army for his crimes that he allegedly has committed. And last, let’s take our last poll for this category: What do you think this incident falls under? Okay, the results are coming in. It looks like the majority of all of you have come up with the right answer. Up to 90 plus 94 percent of you have indicated Category III, which is correct. Of course, Major   Hasan was in the Army himself and so he perpetrated this crime on his cohorts and committed this heinous crime. So, very good. Outstanding job on answering those questions. Back to the slide. All right. Moving on to the next topic about the responsibilities for preventing   workplace violence. Who is actually responsible for it in the end? Is it the employees, the employers, both employers/employees? Or   employer and employees or you just don’t know? Good. Almost 100 percent indicated that it is both the employee’s and employer’s job to prevent   workplace violence. Now, we’re going to talk about different responsibilities now about the employers/employees. So if we can move on to the next slide. So these are the responsibilities that you as an employee have. Okay? And these are pretty self explanatory here, but sometimes they’re just overlooked and we need to talk about them. And as you can see here, you know, you want to conduct yourself in a respectful way. That   means acting courteously and responsibly at all times; you act professional; participate in workplace safety practices; you report any unusual circumstances that could endanger yourself or someone else’s health or safety; and you cooperate with a workplace safety team if your agency has one. Of course, there is zero tolerance in the workplace across all agencies dealing with workplace violence, and you’re expected, I’m sure, to adhere to all of the code of conduct that your agency has and that it needs to be consistent with the principles of courtesy,   dignity and respect. And you have an obligation to report all acts of violence and situations to your supervisor and/or law enforcement personnel. Now, the employer also has a responsibility, and as you can see, this is actually the verbiage from the U.S. section code or U.S. Code, Section 654,   which states that every employer shall provide to each of its employees employment a place of employment free of recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to its employees. Now, this includes, of course, workplace violence and all   the other hazards that an individual can face in the workplace. Managers, supervisors, you’re responsible for ensuring that the safety rules are adhered to in the workplace. Managers and supervisors are also responsible for preventing, as best they can, and resolving workplace violence issues. You can’t turn a blind eye to this. Employees should contact the coordinator, if you do have one, workplace safety coordinator, with questions and concerns about your program and ensure and this is a big one ensure that there is proper documentation of the incident, to include   completing a STD Form 99, which is a form that’s required to be filled out any time there’s a crime not just workplace violence, but any time there’s a crime that occurs on state property, so we can hopefully track this incident better in our databases. In the end, this is the most important   thing, that you work together as managers and employees to communicate the workplace safety policy; and everyone, including managers, employees, should participate in regular meetings involving workplace safety; and everyone should be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the safety plans that you have in place; and also, you should share your ideas. Everybody has great ideas and you cannot be part of the solution if   you remain silent about this, so we encourage everyone to be involved. So let’s move on to our next question. As it pertains to the legal rights of   an employee, how many types of restraining orders are available to you? It looks like we have got the results coming in. And the majority of you, well past 80 percent, are answering the right question, so that is “3”. And so, excellent. Excellent answering of questions here. So if we   can go back to the slide. And so these are the restraining orders. So before we talk about the different types that you can see there at the bottom, what is a restraining order? Well, a restraining order is actually a court order that legally restricts the subject or the person who’s   perpetrating the harassment from physical, emotional or financial abuse. For committing that type of abuse on the victim. It can also be some type of legal protection that protects an individual from being stalked or harassed, which could, if the person does commit or violate the restraining   order, can result in criminal prosecution for the violation. And these are the three types. We have the civil. We have a workplace violence   restraining order, and a it’s criminal. So let’s talk about those three for a second. So the civil involves an individual who you feel is harassing   you that is not a family member who doesn’t reside with you. A person who feels they’re being harassed can seek protection under by the court if they feel that they’re being harassed by someone who they’re not related to. And so this would be a civil restraining order. And, of course, the the burden, of course, to prove it is on the person filing the restraining order. So they need to have all the information they possibly can. This would include police reports and any type of witnesses or other information that would help the court make that decision to give them that protection.   The workplace violence restraining order is an order that’s instituted or implemented by the employer in case there is a workplace violence incident. Now, this is initiated on behalf of the employee. So if there is ever a workplace violence incident at work and it warrants that the person who perpetrated the incident now has a restraining order against them, then of course, then that needs to be done. And the last one is a   criminal restraining order. Now, this is typically granted in a criminal case and it is usually initiated by the district attorney’s office for the   added protection against the victim of a criminal act, and not necessarily just in the workplace, but also could be out of the workplace itself. So those   are the three main restraining orders that are available to the public to include you as a as a worker. Now, we’re going to talk about some ways to prevent workplace violence. Now, this list that I’m going to give you is not all-inclusive, but it’s just for a way for you as employees- supervisors to start thinking about some of the things that you can do to implement if you haven’t already done so. So the first one is, obviously, you want to be able to foster a supportive and harmonious work environment. Now, this is across all all employees, to include supervisors,   managers, employees. Everybody has their responsibility to treat others with respect, to reduce harassment, hostility in the workplace,   and try to lower the the conflict and stress that may occur in the workplace. Supervisors need to be trained, and employees need to be trained as   well as, how to resolve conflicts. Too many times, I think this is overlooked, and a good suggestion here is that you could possibly have, during your training meetings, training days, maybe have some scenarios set up where you could have some role playing and have some scenarios   involving some workplace violence incidents, maybe some arguments in how you’re going to resolve this conflict in the most effective way   without it resorting to workplace violence. I know most agencies do have, but you need to ensure that your policies are up to date and they are constantly reviewed on a regular basis. And these are policies to prevent employees from harassment. I know with the CHP, we have a very extensive policy, so we are required to review that on an annual basis. Establish procedures for handling grievances. You need to have policies in   place to handle any type of grievance that a person may have to include if he or she feels that they are being maltreated, being harassed in the   workplace. Those policies and procedures need to be in place and need to be readily available for employees to see and they know exactly where to go. Here’s a big one: Providing counseling through the EAP. This program is, of course, run by the DPA, Department of Personnel   Administration, and we’ll provide you some information at the very end on how to get access to the EAP, and they are a great resource when it   comes to helping out state workers dealing with some type of event that’s happening in their lives. Here’s another big one: Implement security programs to protect your employees. Now, this sometimes is overlooked in the workplace because maybe something has never happened and due to budgetary constraints, we don’t look at possibly implementing some additional security measures, but I encourage you to seek out the assistance of the California Highway Patrol if you feel your security program at your state agency/department needs someone to look at it.   Because our officers are specifically trained to go in and do a security assessment. So I encourage you to reach out to your local CHP office and contact the officer that’s in charge of providing this type of service. Provide employee safety education. Just exactly what you’re doing right   now. This is a safety education program that you’re listening to dealing with workplace violence, but don’t stop with just this presentation. They may have already been exposed to others. I encourage you to keep seeking out education in this topic of workplace violence and security in   the workplace. Here’s a challenging one, of course: Provide job counseling for those individuals who may be laid off or going to be laid off. This is a tough one. So but we know a lot of times that you’ve heard some of the stories that people are being laid off, that have been fired have taken matters into their own hands and commit some type of violent activity. The one that comes to mind is down in Southern California where the individual came in into, I believe it was a board meeting, and produced a gun and actually fired at the board members, but he was   able he was subdued. He was eventually shot, but he was a person that was laid off. Train supervisors on how to recognize signs of a troubled employee. We went over some of those indicators. So I encourage you to go back and take a look at those indicators again. You’ll have   access to this Powerpoint. And lastly, set up a crisis plan for everyone to know and know what to do in case of a workplace violence incident.   Because there are a lot of things that can happen afterward that that we can prevent if we have a crisis plan in place. And that includes reducing the amount of psychological trauma that not only the victims but also the co workers are going to experience. Or could experience. Remember,   this is the most important part of this, is be proactive, not reactive. Anticipate what could possibly happen before it happens, and have a plan in place. So this is a summary of what we covered today: that you are responsible for ensuring that you have a safe and healthful healthy environment in the workplace; that you are responsible for adhering to all of the workplace safety rules in your workplace; and all   the employees are encouraged to participate in workplace safety programs. You can’t improve something unless you are involved, so I encourage you to be involved. Some resources for you here. These are your resources here, as you can see in front of you, which includes labor   relations, the EAP. There’s the hyperlink for the website for the DPA involving EAP. Your Department may have its own specific support   groups. The DIR also has some great information on workplace violence prevention, and as I mentioned earlier, your local CHP office is a valuable resource for you to reach out to to provide you ongoing education and maybe possibly assessment of security measures in your workplace. So I think at this point, we’re going to open it up for additional questions that people may have out there. So, Jodi, do we have   any questions out there?>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Thank you, Officer Fuentes, for that excellent presentation. We do have a comment, and I’d like to encourage people to submit their questions on the Q and A tab. To start, here’s a comment. It says: Although the slides did not mention, one of the questions implied is that, in quotes,   depressed mood is a risk factor. It’s important to distinguish between mental illness in general and a sudden mood and behavior change in particular.  >>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: That is a great point, and as I mentioned when I gave these indicators, these are not all inclusive, and a lot of times what happens is, you know, of course, we have our ups and downs in life, of course, through our families and life in general.   Now, just because someone comes to work, you know, maybe not having a good day or is feeling depressed doesn’t mean that they’re going to be prone to a workplace violence incident. But it’s key to know that, like this person said, that if there’s a sudden change and maybe their   behavior is erratic and another key thing to remember is the difference between mental illness and some type of psychological issue   that’s going on. So two different things going on there. So thank you for that great comment.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: And we have another: Tell me more about psychological drama, please.  >>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Psychological drama. I think you meant psychological trauma? I think that’s what I had up on the slide. Psychological trauma can be as a result of being a victim of a crime itself. So, you know, times that we are victimized, we are, of course, at times   psychologically traumatized, but a lot of times at work, we can also be psychologically traumatized by ongoing demeaning behavior, stuff that doesn’t   rise to the level of criminal acts. So, for example, if I were to be demeaning to you and maybe say some unkind things to you, that in itself, may not rise to the level of criminal activity. However, based on the circumstances at work, maybe you’re feeling pressured, maybe this person is   just constantly telling you things that are not nice, this could be some type of psychological trauma that you experience in the workplace which   should be immediately reported to your supervisor if you feel this is happening.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. And we have another somewhat related question here. Actually, there are two. Does the harassment have to be from a protected category or can it be any type of harassment? And then the second part of the question: Can you comment on bullying in the workplace?  >>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Well, let’s start with the first question of the category I take it you’re asking about the categories, the different categories. The four categories that we put up, co workers, personal relations, strangers, those, of course, we try to categorize them so we can track the statistics, but any type of violence that’s perpetrated in the workplace by anyone is considered a workplace violence.   Whether they are whether it’s someone that works there, whether it’s the person that comes in to deliver the mail, it doesn’t matter; any type of violence that occurs in the workplace is considered workplace violence. And what was the second part of that question? Jodi?  >>JODI TRAVERSARO: Yes, the second part of the question was: Can you talk more about bullying in the workplace?>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Bullying in the workplace falls under workplace violence if the person on the receiving end feels that he or she is being harassed. Now, bullying could be, as I mentioned, possibly getting some demeaning comments, maybe pulling some some pranks on this person. Things that are unwanted and unwarranted are definitely areas that we would consider bullying and harassment in the workplace. The key here is, as I as I’ve   stressed all along, you need to let someone know. You just cannot suffer in silence just because you feel intimidated by this person. And   this involves even supervisors. So if you feel your supervisor is bullying you or is demeaning you, you need to take that up to the next level, and he   or she has a boss, so you need to contact them. This is why it’s important to know what processes you have in place with your department to know what you can do if you feel you’re being harassed by anyone not just a stranger, but also a co worker, your supervisor,   and so on and so on. And harassment is across all lines to include violence, to include sexual. All these are considered harassment in the workplace.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. We have a question: How would one obtain a workplace restraining order?  >>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: You would have to contact your employer and they would initiate this restraining order for you. This is where knowing what your procedures are in place, but you need to request this with your supervisor or your manager, and he or she should have that information for you.   So if the supervisor or managers don’t know, then I highly encourage that they find out what the process is. And don’t wait until something happens to be scrambling to figure out what you need to do if a workplace violence incident happens, and thus, you need a restraining order in place to be filed on your behalf.  >>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. Here’s another question: Is workplace violence restraining order a legal document?>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Yes. Yes, it is.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. Let’s see. Here’s a question: We frequently encounter providers in parenthesis, our customers that are angry at us because of our audit findings. They take out their frustrations on us when we have our meetings with them.   Is this considered workplace violence, and if yes, what can we do?>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Well, if they commit some type of criminal act, of course, it’s going to be considered workplace violence, and this is if it’s perpetrated by a   customer or a co worker. I highly recommend, if you don’t already have security measures in place, that any time you have meetings with individuals who you suspect are going to be possibly violent in nature, that you have security measures in place, and that includes having   maybe armed security guards, notifying the CHP. I know we have received calls from local state agencies indicating that they have individuals who they feel are threatening to them, and then we will be present for them once these individuals arrive. And typically, once they see an armed presence there, they will usually keep themselves in check. So I highly encourage that you have security   measures in place to address these issues and the what ifs, and this is very important about having policies in place in advance.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. Harassment, in quotes, is such a subjective term. It can be used to mean any slight or affront. Is there a legal or more definite definition of the type of harassment that constitutes workplace violence?  >>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Well, if you go back let’s I think it was on the first slide. So let’s go back there. I apologize for going back so quickly here. But if you recall, we talked about what workplace violence is in the workplace, and I   think we’re here. And it says that it’s any oops, wrong one. There it goes. “Any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in   the work setting.” Now, verbal abuse can be subjective, but it’s typically threatening in nature. So that’s usually what the level it is of arising to   workplace violence. So, for example, if I say to you, you know, “I’m going to kick your face in, you know, if you don’t do as I say,” well, that’s obviously a physical or correction, a verbal assault, because the key, you know, to a assault here is that if you feel threatened by this person’s   words, and that would rise to the level of assault. So if I say to you, “I’m going to kick you in your face,” and you feel that I’m serious and you take it as a viable threat, well, then I’ve just committed assault, and that can be that person can be arrested as long as, of course, the officers feel   that they have probable cause that a crime has been committed. So it can be verbal in nature, but also, of course, physical in nature.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Thank you very much. We also have another question here: What suggestions do you have for a supervisor with an employee who exhibits several risk factors, has been argumentative, resentful towards management, et cetera, over an extended period of time, but seems to   continue to perform his or her job and the employee has already received information about EAP?>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Well, I highly recommend, of course, that everything be documented.   And, of course, if the person continues to violate your own department’s policy and that includes maltreating others and and not just being a kind person, well, then that needs to be documented, and of course, there are procedures in place to deal with individuals like this. It all comes down to whether they are adhering to the procedures and rules that are set in place. Because everyone has or is entitled to come to work and to feel that they are safe. And they don’t have to be subjected to individuals who, for whatever reason, maybe they’re just having, you know, a bad day or they’re just having some bad times in their lives, they they are not allowed to come to work and make everyone else’s day a bad day. So document and also adhere to your policies and through progressive discipline, possibly take action to remove this employee.   If it’s warranted, of course. You would have to consult your legal counsel when it comes to something like that.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Thank you. Here’s a question, are there any workplace safety programs or trainings that you are aware of and can suggest?>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Well, we, the CHP, of course, have programs out there. I highly encourage you to contact your local CHP office. The officers that we have in place are specifically trained to come into the workplace   and provide briefings, such as this, and to give you more information on workplace violence. I did mention that there is the website with the Department of Industrial Relations, the CAL OSHA website also has some great information on on workplace violence prevention.   Department of Labor also has some great information. So there’s a myriad of information out there, whether it’s written, and also in presentations like Powerpoint that I’m providing you.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. Here’s a comment or and a question: What about electronic workplace violence? For example, sending harassing texts, placing information on MySpace, social media, blogs, or Facebook? Can employees file a restraining order based on this type of harassment or threat? What about my employer’s responsibility?  >>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Yes. In fact, that is the new way, unfortunately, that people are perpetrating some type of harassing behavior. And so, there are laws in place now that prohibit cyber bullying, and so it can be it can rise to the level of criminal activity, but it also can rise to just simple harassment. And so, if you are aware of someone that’s committing some type of harassment, whether it’s a co worker, whether it is someone from the   public, you need to let the law enforcement know. If it’s someone from the public and you feel that it’s it’s this person is dangerous and is maybe   saying some dangerous things, then you need to notify law enforcement right away. We actually have a special unit within the CHP that investigates crimes that are perpetrated by people utilizing the Internet. So we have special procedures and we have special means to go after these individuals. But if it’s a co worker, then, of course, that needs to be handled just like it would be if it was someone that was telling you these things right in person.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. Here is another comment here, or a question: As an HR person, what steps can I take when an employee indicates they’re concerned   that a co worker will come into the workplace and do something, but the employee doesn’t provide specifics? It’s one of those gray areas, Officer Fuentes.  >>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Yes, you know, and that would be probably bringing the person in and having that person talked to by management personnel. Of course, you know, they would have to confront this individual at some point and say, “Hey, look, we have this information that we’ve received,” and ask them, “What did you mean by it?” And ask them to clarify. And if they say, “Oh, well, it was just a big misunderstanding,” but you need to put the the emphasis on them to say, “What did you mean,” and ask them to clarify because it may have been them that started this whole thing   to begin with. So you need to put them on the spot and ask them what they meant by that. So, of course, I highly recommend that you have the proper security measures in place if you feel that this could result in some type of violent incident. But, again, the CHP is always on standby to respond to things like this, so I highly encourage you to get ahold of us if you feel that it’s a dangerous situation.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. We have a question about time frames and getting getting a fast response from management when there’s an issue in the workplace.   The question is: How can we get our management team to be more proactive? If we have an incident that we forwarded on, we want a faster response. And how would you respond to that?>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Well, I would say to the managers you know, ultimately the managers are responsible, and they’re going to be held accountable. If, for example, there is repeated complaints about an individual who they feel is harassing or is just having some type of erratic behavior,   ultimately they are going to be held responsible if they don’t react in a timely manner. Every department, every agency, is going to have   their own policies in place, so I could not say, “Well, you know, they need to respond within “X” amount of time.” But I would say that it needs to be in a reasonable amount of time, so if you, for example, were to say that, “Hey, you know, one of my co workers is now sending me harassing emails,” and you forward that information on to your supervisor and you haven’t heard anything in a week, obviously, I think that would be beyond a   reasonable amount of time. So I would let people know as soon as you feel something’s happened, follow up with it. If you haven’t if you feel you’re not getting the response from your manager or your supervisor, well, you need to follow up and say, “Hey, what have you done? I would like to be able to be kept in the loop here,” because you deserve that right to know what they’re doing about it. Now, they   may not be able to give you specifics, but they may be able to give an idea of, “Hey, we’ve opened an investigation, rest assured we’re looking into it,” and at least give you that peace of mind that they’re doing something about it.>>JODI TRAVERSARO: Okay. Officer Fuentes, it is 11:00, and I want to thank you so much for your presentation today.   I’d like to remind everybody that not only do we have additional webinars somewhat on this topic one titled, “The Injury/Illness Prevention Webinar” we also have a leadership competency development guide on the training page at DPA. So, again, I want to thank you Officer Fuentes,   and everybody on this webinar, it’s very important also that you know that you’ll be receiving an email that asks you for feedback. To submit the survey, you’ll need to enter the unique confirmation number that is in the email, and you’ll find the link to the certificate of completion in that email. So fill in the course information and print it up, keep a copy for yourself and submit one to your training office. With that, I’m going to play the Commissioner’s video one more time, and I want to thank everybody for attending today. Thank you so much. That you very much, Officer Fuentes.>>OFFICER RICHARD FUENTES: Thank you for your time. (end)