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How Do Businesses Recover After a Workplace Violence?

“Businesses have insurance, but I can assure you that nobody, as a small-business owner, has enough insurance for this kind of tragedy.” -- Barbara Poma, Owner of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL.

What do businesses do after a shooting?

Owing to the obvious human toll of mass shootings, media coverage—and with it, the public’s focus—tends to center, justifiably enough, on the victims. After that, the discussion invariably broadens to questions of societal causes, mental illness and the politicized issues surrounding gun control.

What’s far less explored is the question of what becomes of the business itself. How should the owners respond? What happens to the employees? Which factors determine whether a company reopens after a shooting or suffers permanent damage because of it?

Workplace violence is still a statistical rarity, though it’s becoming less of one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 10% of homicides happen in places of employment, and those incidents are rising sharply. The BLS recorded 83 cases of workplace homicide in 2015, a number that had risen to 500 just a year later. In 2018, the latest year for which government data is available, 453 people were murdered in places of business, 351 of them having been shot.

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Workplace violence is one of the most frightening exposures companies must face. Such an incident can devastate a company, destroying its bottom line and even threatening its survival.

Why Your Company Needs Workplace Violence Expense Insurance

• The expenses incurred in the aftermath of a workplace violence incident are often staggering and unforeseen.

• Unexpected expenses can stem from crisis management, independent security, employee counseling, public relations, salaries for victim employees and for replacement employees, medical care and/or rest and rehabilitation for employees, and loss of business income, to name a few.

• Recovering from an incident of workplace violence is difficult, and the shorter the road back to normalcy, the better.

Claims Scenarios

  • Claim Scenarios $375,000: A jealous ex-boyfriend follows his former partner to the regional mental health clinic where she is employed. He opens fire in the lobby area, killing his ex-girlfriend and injuring 2 patients and a receptionist. The health clinic closes its door for several weeks in the wake of this violent incident. The health clinic has hired an independent security consultant to perform a comprehensive review of their entire facility, along with 5 grief counselors to meet with employees. The clinic has also met with several public relations consultants in an effort to formulate appropriate responses for local newspapers and television stations covering the story.

  • Claim Scenarios $115,000: A small non-profit drug addiction recovery center is thrust into the headlines after an altercation between a counselor and patient. A patient forces her way into her counselor’s office during a meeting and threatens to stab him to death. Several employees have expressed shock at the violent nature of the episode. The recovery center has hired outside counselors to meet with distraught employees. The center has also enlisted a local public relations consultant to assist with a press release for local newspapers.

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