Violence in the Workplace

Violence, in the form of verbal threats, bullying, physical assault and even death, is a significant problem in the workplace.

Employers would be wise to:

  • Become informed of the risk factors and warning signs of potential violence
  • Conduct an assessment to determine your organization’s violence vulnerability
  • Recognize the environmental factors that allow violence to escalate
  • Develop an in-house anti-violence program

Current research suggests that employers’ attempts to eliminate workplace violence are much more successful when the focus is on prevention rather than reaction. For that reason, it makes sense for employers to familiarize themselves with the early indicators that an employee might be at risk for violent acting out.

However, paying attention to the individual most likely to act out is not, in and of itself, enough. Employers would also be wise to create work environments in which it is difficult for hostile and aggressive behavior to take root.​​


CalChamber would like to thank Dennis A. Davis for his contribution to the Violence in the Workplace section of the HR Library​.

Dennis A. Davis, Ph.D., is recognized nationally as an expert on workplace violence prevention, workplace bullying, conflict resolution, sexual harassment and cultural diversity.

Since 2008, Dennis has served as Ogletree Deakins’ National Director of Client Training. In that capacity, he develops and implements training programs which are designed to minimize the risks associated with inappropriate employee behavior.

Dennis spent more than 10 years consulting to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, where he used his education in clinical psychology to teach willful compliance techniques.​