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  • Case Law Question

    I'm looking for some examples of case law that has to do with an employers duty to protect, duty to inform, and equal protection. We just had a situation at work where a person made threats after they were fired. The client contact did not inform security of these threats, even when asked if this was a potentially violent contact if the person ever arrived back at work. The client also hired two more guards to patrol the gates early in the morning and during the lunch hour, but at no other times of the day, even though there is someone in the building 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, and if you count us, 24/7.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ff000525
    I'm looking for some examples of case law that has to do with an employers duty to protect, duty to inform, and equal protection. We just had a situation at work where a person made threats after they were fired. The client contact did not inform security of these threats, even when asked if this was a potentially violent contact if the person ever arrived back at work. The client also hired two more guards to patrol the gates early in the morning and during the lunch hour, but at no other times of the day, even though there is someone in the building 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, and if you count us, 24/7.
    As a starting point, please examine OHSA Act 29 USC 654(a)(1). There a lot of things an employer must do to include coordination with local law enforcement and employee training, guard forces training, appointments of an Incident Management Team and a Designated Management Representative just to name a few.
    Nathan, et others, can you add to this?
    ff000525, there is a short fuze a short one indeed. Somebody company management needs to get off their mattress and do something pronto.
    Please look at appendix g, Violence in the Workplace in the security guide I sent you this afternoon.
    Remember practice, practice and more practice.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ff000525
      I'm looking for some examples of case law that has to do with an employers duty to protect, duty to inform, and equal protection. We just had a situation at work where a person made threats after they were fired. The client contact did not inform security of these threats, even when asked if this was a potentially violent contact if the person ever arrived back at work. The client also hired two more guards to patrol the gates early in the morning and during the lunch hour, but at no other times of the day, even though there is someone in the building 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, and if you count us, 24/7.
      OSHA provides a duty to provide a workplace free of violence. However, you're client is not required, generally, to inform you of these issues. You are a contractor, and OSHA has made the waters muddy in regards to contract employees.

      You're contract company is to provide you with a workplace free of violence, unless that violence is an occupational hazard. OSHA has never really ruled if a "Security Guard and Survelience Agent's" exposure to violence is occupational or not. If they did, then OSHA rules would require training in defense against violent attack, to include either escape or apprehension tactics.

      A prefect illustration of this was when I worked a site that was OSHA regulated. Several areas were marked "Positive Pressure Respirator REQUIRED." The entire factory area was "Safety Toe Shoes Required." Employees of the company would be sent home or given strap-on safety toes if they did not comply. You could be terminated for failing to wear safety glasses. You could die if you failed to wear your respirator.

      Did any of this apply to the contract security? No. I asked the safety manager for the site, and he noted that under OSHA rules, they are not responsible for our safety on their site, as we are not their employees. Further, during an OSHA inspection, they inspected the security staff (of one guard on shift) and determined their multiple and flagrant violations exempt.

      When the client told the security company that the client was not responsible, the security company replied, "Unless you pay us for PPE, we're not issuing it, its not part of the standard uniform." And it wasn't. Batons, OC, handcuffs, etc, yes. Ear Defenders, Face Shield, Hard Hat, Steel Toed Boots? Those aren't occupational hazards for a "security guard" or "survelience agent" by OSHA standards.
      Some Kind of Commando Leader

      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
        OSHA provides a duty to provide a workplace free of violence. However, you're client is not required, generally, to inform you of these issues. You are a contractor, and OSHA has made the waters muddy in regards to contract employees.

        You're contract company is to provide you with a workplace free of violence, unless that violence is an occupational hazard. OSHA has never really ruled if a "Security Guard and Survelience Agent's" exposure to violence is occupational or not. If they did, then OSHA rules would require training in defense against violent attack, to include either escape or apprehension tactics.

        A prefect illustration of this was when I worked a site that was OSHA regulated. Several areas were marked "Positive Pressure Respirator REQUIRED." The entire factory area was "Safety Toe Shoes Required." Employees of the company would be sent home or given strap-on safety toes if they did not comply. You could be terminated for failing to wear safety glasses. You could die if you failed to wear your respirator.

        Did any of this apply to the contract security? No. I asked the safety manager for the site, and he noted that under OSHA rules, they are not responsible for our safety on their site, as we are not their employees. Further, during an OSHA inspection, they inspected the security staff (of one guard on shift) and determined their multiple and flagrant violations exempt.

        When the client told the security company that the client was not responsible, the security company replied, "Unless you pay us for PPE, we're not issuing it, its not part of the standard uniform." And it wasn't. Batons, OC, handcuffs, etc, yes. Ear Defenders, Face Shield, Hard Hat, Steel Toed Boots? Those aren't occupational hazards for a "security guard" or "survelience agent" by OSHA standards.
        In my case the safety toe issue, safety glasses, and all other applicable OSHA requirements do apply at my site. It also applies to all other contractors that enter the site. Before they enter the site they must be properly trained and that training documented. If they are not trained they don't enter. So does this create a "double standard"? If they are protecting us thusfar, shouldn't they also protect us when it comes to violence?
        PS I knew you two would answer....that's why I posted here... thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          You may want to also research your state laws as well. You may find them "more restrictive" than OSHA (which is good in this case). Haven't been in WI since I was a kid so I have no idea what he state laws may be.
          "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

          Comment


          • #6
            Bull

            I can't seem to find much in the state law. The real kicker would be finding some case law on this subject, because case law usually ends up in some sort of civil litigation. Companies are usually more worried about how badly violence will affect thier bottom line and don't usually take in account the people that are affected by it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ff000525
              Bull

              I can't seem to find much in the state law. The real kicker would be finding some case law on this subject, because case law usually ends up in some sort of civil litigation. Companies are usually more worried about how badly violence will affect thier bottom line and don't usually take in account the people that are affected by it.
              I can agree. For companies the bottom line $$$ rules the decision process.

              You can try here to begin searching case law to see what you can turn up:

              http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casesummary/index.html

              It may give you a beginning point anyway. Good luck - hope you find something that helps.
              "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by aka Bull
                I can agree. For companies the bottom line $$$ rules the decision process.

                You can try here to begin searching case law to see what you can turn up:

                http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casesummary/index.html

                It may give you a beginning point anyway. Good luck - hope you find something that helps.
                By golly we are on a role, lets all keep at it!
                Enjoy the day,
                Bill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ff000525
                  In my case the safety toe issue, safety glasses, and all other applicable OSHA requirements do apply at my site. It also applies to all other contractors that enter the site. Before they enter the site they must be properly trained and that training documented. If they are not trained they don't enter. So does this create a "double standard"? If they are protecting us thusfar, shouldn't they also protect us when it comes to violence?
                  PS I knew you two would answer....that's why I posted here... thanks!
                  It creates a double standard, if you can determine that the client is duty-bound to provide safety from violence for contracting employees.

                  Another thing is to pull up your post orders and job description. If there is no expectation of workplace violence against you based on your occupation, because you are required by training and policy to not engage or confront anyone, then they have no "this is an occupational hazard for a security guard" defense!

                  Wisconsin represents the federal government through WI OSHA, as well as the EPA through WI EPA. It also has its own more stringent EEOC agency, which fufills the EEOC requirements on the federal level.

                  Hop on over to Wisconsin.gov and see if you can find their OSHA site. At the end of this forum sweep (When I'm through with all the forums I visit a day), I'll see what I can find on wisconsin.gov, especially contact information.
                  Some Kind of Commando Leader

                  "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                    It creates a double standard, if you can determine that the client is duty-bound to provide safety from violence for contracting employees.

                    Another thing is to pull up your post orders and job description. If there is no expectation of workplace violence against you based on your occupation, because you are required by training and policy to not engage or confront anyone, then they have no "this is an occupational hazard for a security guard" defense!

                    Wisconsin represents the federal government through WI OSHA, as well as the EPA through WI EPA. It also has its own more stringent EEOC agency, which fufills the EEOC requirements on the federal level.

                    Hop on over to Wisconsin.gov and see if you can find their OSHA site. At the end of this forum sweep (When I'm through with all the forums I visit a day), I'll see what I can find on wisconsin.gov, especially contact information.
                    My post orders also create a double standard. One part actually says to observe and report situations and not to intervne, and then there is another section that says if a client employee asks or tells us to bring someone under control we are to do it. Ha Ha, that went into my letter to the new branch manager. Let's see, 7 years of wrestling and 4 months of boxing lessons, if I bring someone under "control" they will be under for a couple days. I would definatley refuse to "bring someone under control" without the proper training provided by my company. Seeing as how they don't want to do that....

                    Comment

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