California Senate bill requiring companies to implement violence prevention plans to take effect July 2024

California Senate bill requiring companies to implement violence prevention plans to take effect July 2024

Back in September, the landscape of California workplaces was impacted dramatically upon Governor Gavin Newsom signing Senate Bill 533, which requires that California employers now implement a detailed workplace violence prevention plan in compliance with their Cal/OHSA Injury Illness Prevention Plan. In addition to implementing a plan, employers must now ensure their workers have access to proper training on their plan and keep detailed records of any incidents of violence in the workplace. The law will take effect on July 1, 2024.  

The Role of Third-Party Investigators:

With the advent of these violence prevention programs, there arises a critical need for thorough evaluations of current operations and workplaces. This is where third-party investigators come into play. These professionals bring a fresh and unbiased perspective to the table, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of existing security measures, policies, and potential risks.

Supplementing Evaluations with Private Investigators:

As California employers gear up to comply with the new regulations, the demand for third-party investigators is expected to soar. Companies will seek the expertise of these investigators to conduct detailed assessments, identify vulnerabilities, and recommend tailored strategies to enhance workplace safety

While third-party investigators offer a broad assessment of workplace violence prevention programs, some California employers are taking an extra step by supplementing these evaluations with private investigators. Private investigators bring a unique skill set that extends beyond traditional workplace assessments. Their ability to conduct discreet inquiries, uncover potential internal threats, and gather information discreetly can provide an added layer of security.

The Competitive Edge:

Employers who choose to enlist the services of private investigators in addition to third-party assessments may gain a competitive edge in safeguarding their workplaces. By adopting a proactive stance and addressing potential threats comprehensively, these businesses demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of their employees and the integrity of their operations.

Considerations for Employers:

California employers looking to stay ahead in the evolving landscape of workplace safety should consider the following:

  1. Comprehensive Evaluations: Engage third-party investigators to conduct thorough evaluations of workplace violence prevention programs, focusing on identifying vulnerabilities and areas for improvement.
  2. Supplement with Private Investigators: Consider supplementing these evaluations with private investigators to delve deeper into potential internal threats and gather actionable intelligence.
  3. Proactive Security Measures: Implement recommendations from investigators promptly, adopting proactive security measures to create a robust and resilient workplace violence prevention program.
  4. Employee Awareness and Training: Prioritize employee awareness and training programs to ensure that staff members are equipped to identify and respond to potential threats effectively.

As California forges ahead with its commitment to workplace safety through mandatory violence prevention programs, a burgeoning demand for third-party investigators becomes evident. Employers who recognize the value of supplementing these evaluations with private investigators not only enhance their security measures but also position themselves as leaders in fostering safe and secure work environments. In a landscape where workplace safety is paramount, proactive measures are the key to staying ahead and ensuring the well-being of employees.

The initiative to have the workplace evaluated for violence prevention and safety is not restricted to California, however. If you have need for a workplace violence investigation, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on how we can get your crucial information for success in your business. We’ve helped businesses all over the United States protect their employees against both internal and external threats to their safety. We’re staffed by former military, law enforcement personnel, and have decades of combined experience to help provide comprehensive solutions to any workplace issue.

Safeguarding the Workplace: The Imperative for Leadership to Address Rising Workplace Violence

Safeguarding the Workplace: The Imperative for Leadership to Address Rising Workplace Violence

workplace violence

In recent years, there has been a troubling and undeniable trend – workplace violence is on the rise. Incidents of aggression, harassment, and even tragic acts of violence have become more frequent, posing a significant threat to the well-being of employees across various industries. In this challenging environment, the responsibility falls squarely on leadership to go above and beyond, implementing comprehensive strategies to safeguard their employees against both internal and external risks.

Internal Threats:

Workplace violence is not solely an external concern; internal factors also contribute significantly to the rise in incidents. Disputes among colleagues, unresolved conflicts, and unaddressed mental health issues can create a volatile mix. Leaders must prioritize fostering a culture of open communication and conflict resolution, providing employees with channels to express concerns without fear of reprisal. Investing in employee assistance programs (EAPs) and mental health resources can further support individuals facing personal challenges.

External Threats:

External threats, including acts of terrorism, theft, or even domestic violence spilling into the workplace, are on the rise. Employers must collaborate with law enforcement and security experts to conduct thorough risk assessments. Implementing access control measures, surveillance systems, and emergency response plans can help mitigate potential external threats. Additionally, providing training to employees on situational awareness and response procedures is crucial for building a resilient workforce.

The Role of Leadership Against Workplace Violence:

Leadership plays a pivotal role in creating a safe and secure work environment. Executives must take a proactive approach, demonstrating a commitment to the well-being of their teams. This involves not only addressing existing concerns but also anticipating potential threats and implementing preventative measures. Transparent communication about safety measures and emergency protocols fosters trust among employees and ensures they feel supported.

Investing in Technology:

Advancements in technology offer powerful tools to enhance workplace security. Leaders should consider investing in state-of-the-art security systems, including access control systems, surveillance cameras, and communication platforms that enable quick dissemination of critical information during emergencies. Additionally, artificial intelligence and data analytics can be leveraged to identify patterns of behavior that may indicate a potential threat.

Collaboration with Human Resources:

Leadership must work closely with the Human Resources (HR) department to create and enforce policies that promote a safe and respectful workplace. HR professionals can play a crucial role in identifying early signs of potential issues, offering mediation, and providing support to employees in need. Regular training sessions on conflict resolution, diversity, and inclusion can further contribute to a positive and secure work environment.

Moving Forward Against Workplace Violence:

As workplace violence continues to rise, leaders must recognize the urgency of the situation and take decisive action. Safeguarding employees requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both internal and external threats. By fostering a culture of open communication, investing in technology, collaborating with HR, and demonstrating a commitment to the well-being of their teams, leadership can create a workplace where employees feel safe, supported, and able to perform at their best without fear of violence or harassment. In these challenging times, going above and beyond to protect employees is not just a responsibility; it is an imperative for leaders aiming to build resilient, thriving organizations.

When appropriate, an investigation into the workplace itself may be appropriate. While the instinct to keep the investigation internal is understandable, a third-party investigator really is the best option for businesses that hope to get to the root of their repetitive issues. If you have need for a workplace violence investigation, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on how we can get your crucial information for success in your business.

How to Leverage Great Leadership and Improve Workplace Culture From the Top

How to Leverage Great Leadership and Improve Workplace Culture From the Top

Within any great organization, leaders play a pivotal role in keeping workplace culture strong and employees engaged. Essentially, the health of your company’s leadership culture will correlate directly with the well-being of its wider corporate culture. This makes driving excellent leadership practices a powerful lever to pull when striving for enhanced success.

So, why are leaders so critical when it comes to steering workplace culture? Intrinsically armed not only with authority but also influence, your trusted leaders actively set the tone for the wider team in their attitudes, practices, behaviors, and values.

Ultimately, every tactical decision and interaction counts, and their status quo approach will likely be emulated down the chain of command. This raises the poignant question: is your leadership team setting a high bar for corporate culture, or is there room for improvement?

How Your Chosen Leaders Shape All Aspects of Company Culture

Thanks to a growing understanding of how engagement and productivity are manifested, modern leadership models place emphasis on constructively coaching and mentoring employees, ensuring effective communication and collaboration, setting clear expectations, and supporting work-life balance.

Acknowledgment of effort also plays a powerful part in energizing teams, with 69% of employees expressing that they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. However, the shaping of corporate culture begins long before the process of guiding developing employees begins.

It is vital to note how influential your leadership’s recruitment practices are for the long-standing status of workplace culture. Poor hiring choices can introduce negative influences within teams, eroding trust, productivity, and even safety at work. With roughly 55% of job applicants lying on their resumes or application forms, the importance of comprehensive employee background checks cannot be overlooked.

Addressing Workplace Culture and Setting New Leadership Standards

Serving as a challenge for business owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs alike, the art of establishing high leadership standards is far easier from a blank slate than it is within a system already in motion. When a large or even small-to-medium-sized enterprise is already infused with rigid attitudes and detrimental practices, it can be tricky to trigger effective change.

However, with adequate oversight and understanding, the transformation of both leadership culture and workplace culture at large is entirely achievable. This process begins with developing a clear understanding of what’s happening now, which is best achieved with a corporate culture audit.

At Lauth Investigations International, our seasoned corporate investigators take immense pride in turning our understanding of the many factors that can make or break a business toward helping their leaders mitigate risk and forge cultural and procedural strength from within.
Learn more about how we can help you correct detrimental practices and instill excellence throughout every layer of your organization with a corporate culture audit. Alternatively, connect with our corporate team today to discuss how we can best address your concerns and support your ambitions.

Revealing Employment Violations With Workplace Investigations: Here’s How it’s Done

Revealing Employment Violations With Workplace Investigations: Here’s How it’s Done

Run any business long enough, and eventually, you are bound to encounter the challenges that come with incidents of employment violations. Unlike many cases of criminal activity in the workplace, this kind of employee misconduct may not lead to litigation. However, it could still represent a significant threat to the financial and functional stability of your enterprise, making it vital to remain alert and take action at the first sign of trouble. When you first suspect a significant threat to your business, it’s crucial to consult a workplace investigator.

So, how might employers measure this threat? Well, an employment violation can be described as any action or behavior that defies the policies, rules, and standards set by the company in question or the laws to which it is bound.

This type of employee misconduct can range from malingering and time theft through to harassment and discrimination, non-compete violations, company asset misuse, and more. Essentially, the scale and scope of employment violations can vary substantially, but when appropriate workplace investigations are launched, an employer is well positioned to protect themselves.

It’s easy to imagine kick-starting a swift and effective investigation after a possible employment violation has been reported, but a concrete complaint or witness testimony isn’t always a necessary trigger.

If as an employer, you are concerned that your workplace has become a home to shady comings and goings, disingenuous attitudes, or dishonest conduct, waiting can be a risky gamble. However, setting a proactive workplace investigator on the trail of potential violations might just save your enterprise from a perilous storm in the making.

How a Corporate Investigator Reveals Employment Violations

Before action can be taken against the perpetrators of any employment violations, evidence must first be gathered. While in-house HR investigations can carry you so far in this regard, collaborating with a professional workplace investigator will mean gaining access to a far wider and more efficient array of skills, means, and expertise.

For example, a corporate investigator from Lauth Investigations International will be able to perform comprehensive background checks on suspects, delving into many of the same databases used by law enforcement. They will be able to legally and safely carry out surveillance operations, with all the necessary equipment, and utilize digital forensics techniques whenever necessary.

In certain cases, a licensed workplace investigator may go undercover within a company to uncover employment violations in action. On the other side of the same coin, when operating with acknowledged presence, they will be able to draw from specialist training when conducting interviews with both victims and suspects. Meticulous documentation, utmost discretion, and procedural excellence are all par for the course. Together, these factors offer outstanding peace of mind to employers as their worries are meticulously and efficiently addressed.

If you are concerned about employment violations taking place within your business or team, a corporate investigator from Lauth Investigations is only a call or message away. Discover more about our extensive corporate investigations and human resources services or get in touch today to discuss your needs in detail.

How Workplace Investigations Can Uncover Current Employee Harassment Or Discrimination 

How Workplace Investigations Can Uncover Current Employee Harassment Or Discrimination 

Workplace harassment and discrimination are serious problems that can have a devastating impact on employees. They can create a hostile work environment, lead to decreased productivity, and even result in physical or psychological harm. Employers have a legal obligation to take steps to prevent and address workplace harassment and discrimination. Not only is it legally imperative, but it is also important to the company’s bottom line. Research shows that workplace harassment and discrimination lead to billions of associated costs to corporations globally each year. One of the most important steps is to conduct thorough investigations whenever a complaint is made.

A workplace investigation is a process of gathering information and evidence to determine whether or not harassment or discrimination has occurred. The goal of an investigation is to uncover the facts of the situation and to reach a fair and impartial decision.

Investigating Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

There are a number of steps involved in conducting an investigation into workplace harassment and discrimination. These steps include:

  • Gathering information. The investigator will need to gather as much information as possible about the incident, including the names of the people involved, the date and time of the incident, and the specific details of what happened.
  • Interviewing witnesses. The investigator will need to interview all of the witnesses to the incident, including the complainant, the alleged harasser, and any other employees who may have knowledge of the situation.
  • Reviewing documentation. The investigator may also need to review any relevant documentation, such as emails, text messages, or other written records.
  • Reaching a conclusion. After gathering all of the information, the investigator will need to reach a conclusion about whether or not harassment or discrimination has occurred. The investigator will then make a recommendation to the employer about how to proceed.

Workplace investigations can be complex and challenging. However, they are an essential tool for employers to prevent and address harassment and discrimination. By conducting thorough investigations, employers can create a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.

Here are some additional tips for conducting workplace investigations

  • Choose an impartial investigator. The investigator should be someone who is not directly involved in the situation and who has no prior relationship with the people involved.
  • Conduct the investigation in a timely manner. The investigation should be conducted as quickly as possible to minimize the disruption to the workplace and to allow the employee to feel safe and secure.
  • Be respectful of all parties involved. The investigator should treat all parties involved with respect, regardless of their role in the incident.
  • Document the investigation thoroughly. The investigator should document all of the steps taken during the investigation, including the information gathered, the interviews conducted, and the conclusions reached.

By following these tips, employers can conduct workplace investigations that are fair, impartial, and thorough. This will help to ensure that harassment and discrimination are prevented and addressed in the workplace.

Here are some of the signs that may indicate that harassment or discrimination is occurring in your workplace:

  • Employees are avoiding certain people or areas of the workplace.
  • Employees are making complaints about their treatment.
  • There is a decline in productivity or morale.
  • There are reports of injuries or illnesses that may be related to stress or harassment.

If you suspect that harassment or discrimination is occurring in your workplace, it is important to take action. You can start by talking to the employee who is being harassed or discriminated against. You can also contact your human resources department or an outside investigator. By taking action, you can help to create a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.

Hiring a private investigator

Despite the best of intentions, some companies or human resource departments may lack the appropriate resources or expertise to conduct a workplace investigation. In the event that the company finds itself unprepared, a third-party investigation by a private investigator may be the appropriate solution. Private investigators have a great deal of experience in identifying the unseen factors in any given situation. They can fully document all of their discoveries throughout the course of the investigation. There is no more impartial investigator than a private investigator independent from the corporation or organization, because they have no stake in the outcome. If you need a workplace investigation, reach out to Lauth Investigations International for a free quote on how we can help improve your business.

Violence or Threats in the Workplace: Immediately Do This if It Happens to You

Violence or Threats in the Workplace: Immediately Do This if It Happens to You

Would your workforce know what to do in the face of threatening employee behavior? Would your human resources team know how to respond to reports of a violent coworker? Perhaps most crucially of all, would you?

Astoundingly, more than half of American employees report being unaware or unsure of their employer’s emergency preparedness plans, and around a fifth don’t know what they would do if they witnessed or were directly involved with an instance of workplace violence. 

These numbers suggest that employers are dropping the ball, which is surprising given that American businesses lose somewhere in the range of $250 to $330 billion every year to the fallout of such incidents. From lost productivity and absences through to liability and litigation—which can result in average legal costs ranging from $500,000 for out-of-court settlement to $3 million for a jury award settlement—a violent or threatening employee, customer, or other individuals can represent a huge threat to any enterprise. 

What to Do If You Experience Violence or Threats in the Workplace

Being able to recognize an immediate danger of violence or threatening behavior is a skill, and most employers need to engage external specialists in order to identify potential vulnerabilities, minimize risk, and provide tailored training to suit their unique enterprise. A violence and threat assessment is a great place to start in this endeavor—but what should you do if preventative and reactive strategies are not fully implemented and an incident occurs on your watch?

Workplace violence is an umbrella term that encompasses not only physical attack, but also verbal abuse, intimidation, threatening behavior, bullying, discrimination, and more. While these non-physical acts may not seem so dangerous, they can be warning signs of further risk ahead. This makes it critical to enforce a zero-tolerance policy and encourage reporting. All incidents of workplace violence or threatening employee behavior should be reported and investigated, no matter how large or small.

Behavioral red flags should be responded to with responsible human resources investigations, including observation, fact-finding, interviewing, documenting, discipline, and reporting in alignment with company policies and legal obligations. However, when threatening or violent behavior escalates, it is important to react promptly and take any threat seriously:

  • If a threat is made, secure your own safety and the safety of others
  • If you suspect that persons or premises may be in danger, contact the authorities by dialing 911
  • Seek supervisory and security team support in responding to any perpetrator of workplace violence or threats
  • Remain calm, speaking in a slow and clear voice
  • Consult the Department of Homeland Security guidance for responding to an active shooter.
  • Cooperate with responding law enforcement personnel

Following Workplace Violence and Ensuring Future Prevention

Whether an incident of workplace violence results in injury or not, it is vital to understand how it took place and take steps to avoid repetition. In achieving this goal, a corporate culture investigations specialist can be an essential ally. Here at Lauth Investigations International, we provide a spectrum of workplace investigations services that aim to aid businesses not only in their reactive human resources investigations but also in proactive risk mitigation.

Preventing workplace violence can be tackled from a number of different angles. A comprehensive violence and threat assessment can pinpoint vulnerabilities and provide insight for future training and security practices. Meanwhile introducing detailed background checks for new employees can help to avoid hiring someone with a dark past, and a corporate culture audit can support the permanent elimination of toxic behavior in the workplace.
Would you like to know more about how the corporate team here at Lauth Investigations International can help you keep your workplace safe, supportive, productive, and prosperous? If so, connect with us today for a no-obligation chat about your unique workplace violence prevention needs.