Background Checks to Weed Out Workplace Bullies

Thu, March 4th, 2010 - 6:11 am - By Gordon Basichis

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I was reading a recent article about how WorkSafe in Australia  will be going to more than 40,000 employers to educated their employees on workplace violence and workplace bullies.   It is a pretty daunting task and one that takes awhile, as they interview staffers and provide training.

This decision comes after one poor soul was driven to suicide by workplace bullies.   Of course there is no end to workplace violence, in general, and the economic downturn has turned people sour, and the level of anger in the workplace has increased.  The lousy economy has resulted into increased levels of physical violence and verbal abuse in the office.   Some people do not handle adversity well and allow their emotions to get out of control.

Of course, conducting background checks will go a long way in weeding out the workplace bullies and those prone to commit violence in the workplace.   Doing the background check for criminal records and even county civil records where there are restraining orders against your candidate can prove helpful. Restraining orders usually result after domestic issues get out of hand.   With background checks you can discover if your candidate has any past history as a sexual offender or if he or she has a hatred for the opposite sex.

It is a good thing to come in after incidents of workplace violence and lecture and train employees on how not to act out in the workplace.  But the fact remains that the damage has already been done.  Someone has been hurt, or worse, and your business is embarrassed.   And costly lawsuits can result from the incident.

So check them out before you hire.

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