Ban Violent Behavior, Horseplay in Employee Handbook
Include in your association’s employee handbook a ban against violent behavior by employees, to head off problems and put your employees on notice that this behavior won't be tolerated and that there will be serious consequences. Tell employees what's unacceptable, and draw a clear line that they may not cross without being fired. Include horseplay as part of prohibited conduct; it's employees' most common defense for unacceptable behavior.
Make it clear that you will immediately dismiss any employee who you believe poses a threat to others—colleagues, association members, and guests in the community—and don't hesitate to do so if you have solid evidence. An employee who behaves violently or threatens someone is unfit for the job. Don't wait until the employee assaults someone. While you may still end up in court to defend your decision, your potential liability for keeping a dangerous person employed is greater than your potential liability for wrongful dismissal.
One way to avoid employee problems down the road is to be vigilant about hiring great workers in the first place. For tips on hiring quality employees, see “Simplify Employee Hiring Process,” available here.
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