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Workplace Violence Law

An average of 1.7 million people were victims of violent crimes while working in the US, according to a report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), each year from 1993 through 1999. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reported 11,613 workplace homicides between 1992 and 2006, one study found that workplace violence results in 1,175,100 lost workdays annually, $55 million in lost wages annually, lost productivity, legal expenses, property damage, diminished public image, and increased security costs. Workplace violence may impact the workplace in many ways, including decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, increased stress, increased health care costs, and increased turnover rates. 

Workplace violence law has many sources. These include federal laws such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act. Colorado also has laws that may be applicable when the topic is workplace violence. These include the Premises Liability Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act. Common law concepts such as negligence may come into play. Criminal statutes may also be relevant.

Mark Cohen has served nearly ten years on the Board of Directors of DART, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Boulder that provides violence prevention training to employers and organizations of all sizes. He is the author Elements of an Effective Workplace Violence Program, The Colorado Lawyer, July 2004. He is also the author and reviser of the Workplace Violence chapter of The Practitioner's Guide to Colorado Employment Law, published by CLE in Colorado, Inc. He has given presentations on workplace violence. A black belt in karate, he has completed DART’s lead instructor course and taught classes on violence prevention and personal safety to numerous organizations.

Although based in Boulder, Mr. Cohen is a workplace violence lawyer who is available to provide counsel on legal issues pertaining to workplace violence and to draft workplace violence policies and violence prevention policies for institutional clients.   He is also available to perform workplace violence incident investigations.

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