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  1. Workplace Violence: “In Hindsight, We Could See It Coming!”    


    Case Facts: “In Hindsight We Could See It Coming”

    In the predawn hours on February 9, 1996, a disgruntled former park and recreation department
    employee, Clifton McCree, burst into the maintenance trailer where six of his former coworkers were starting their day’s work. In five minutes, six people were dead of gunshot wounds: Clifton McCree had killed five of the six coworkers, and then had turned the gun upon himself; one coworker escaped to tell the story of horror and death.

    After eighteen years of employment, Clifton McCree had been discharged from the City of Ft. Lauderdale in October of 1994 after failing a drug test. After this, he had been unable to find steady work, and he had grown increasingly depressed and angry over what he saw as racial discrimination and retaliation by white employees and supervisors. Mr. McCree had a history of workplace confrontations with coworkers. In the past, other employees had complained about his occasional threats to kill them. His supervisors had counseled him informally about the need to control his temper. Although he frequently went into rages, and coworkers were afraid of him, his supervisors and other employees had avoided formal complaints and tried to handle the problem initially because they did not want him to lose his job. Despite his temper, he continued to receive satisfactory performance evaluations for nine years, and there was no formal record of his problems. Finally, in 1993, after a screaming match with a white coworker, McCree’s supervisor counseled him informally.

    Personnel Policies and Procedures
    Ironically, the problem came to head just days after the City issued a new policy on workplace violence in 1994. This policy grew out of another tragedy — the murder of two lawyers in a downtown office building earlier that year. The City’s policy was designed to raise awareness of what a potentially violent worker might do, and it set up a procedure for handling such incidents.
    Immediately after the policy was issued, the supervisor came to the park and recreation department director, who had just come on the job a few weeks before, and told her about Clifton McCree. Within days, she had interviewed other workers and prepared a chilling memo detailing McCree’s threats and racial slurs against his coworkers. The memo indicated that McCree exhibited at least five of the warning signs of potential trouble, including threats, paranoid behavior, and a fascination w i t h workplace violence. City officials acted quickly, ordering a psychiatric evaluation and a drug test within days. By the end of the month, McCree had been suspended without pay; he flunked the drug test and his firing was in the works. Until the day of the murders, eighteen months to the day after his discharge, he never returned to his workplace.
    The Postmortem: Should the City Have Done Anything Differently?
    In hindsight, it is difficult to find fault with anyone’s actions. Most coworkers and supervisors would initially attempt to counsel a troubled employee informally because they were his friends and they knew he needed the job. With no formal counseling taking place, there would be no written record of previous performance incidents upon which to base a negative performance evaluation. When formal counseling finally occurred in 1993, it was only because coworkers had exerted pressure on management to do something. The City developed a clear and responsible policy on workplace violence in 1994. This policy led to a strong and immediate response by the park and recreation department, and it was the department director’s memo that led the City to take action. Appropriately, Clifton McCree was removed from work pending psychiatric evaluation and drug testing. He tested positive and was discharged. Yet six people died. In addition to the human tragedy, the City will undoubtedly face civil charges from the victims’ families, alleging that the City knew that Clifton McCree was violent but did not take adequate precautions to protect coworkers against violence
    Answer the following questions:

    1. In hindsight what do you think the city could have done differently (if anything)?
    2. Under the standard of “foreseeability,” do you think thee city can be held liable for failure to take more timely action against Clifton McCree?
    3. Did the city’s prompt and responsible action (to discharge Clifton McCree under its new workplace violence policy) in fact increase the chance of workplace violence?
    4. HRM usually takes place in communities affected by racial or ethnic unrest, alcohol or drug abuse, and disgruntled employees with easy access to weapons. What can HR managers do to lessen the chances of these factors resulting in workplace tragedies such as this one?

    Order Notes


Subject Employment Pages 4 Style APA


Aggressive and Violent Behavior: Case Study

What the City Could Have Done Differently

In the hindsight, the City of Ft. Lauderdale could have implemented different personnel selection, training, and planning of the organizational factors to reduce the chances of aggression and violence. Personnel selection should have been comprised of programs emphasizing on the need to screen potential workers. The City should have tested to discover any employees with the likelihood of exhibiting violent and aggressive behavior in the future. This proactive approach identifies violent and aggressive behavior for prior considerations before they are hired (Nankervis et al., 2019). Therefore, it had been applied in selection, it would have informed the city on whether Clifton McCree was a suitable employee for the organization.

The City should have included and communicated a clear workplace violence and aggression policy to minimize incidents (Yragui et al., 2016). Anti-violence and anti-aggression policies can help curb future impacts of violent behavior such as murder and suicide expedited by Clifton McCree. Training is also a critical prevention program that the City should have utilized. Training both the management and employees would have instilled hands-on knowledge and skills to deal with workplace violence and aggression (Nankervis et al., 2019).

Liability of the City

All employees reserve a right to guaranteed security at the workplace (Yragui et al., 2016). The City should have formulated a violence and aggression policy to guide workers on what was termed acceptable and unacceptable behavior but it did not until 1994. Besides, even after termination for to violence and aggressive behavior, Clifton McCree still gained entry into the recreation department. As a result, workers were exposed to imminent and predictable danger resulting as a frustration and possible depression consequence from McCree’s termination and inability to get another employment contract (Nankervis et al., 2019). Therefore, the City should be held liable for failure to provide guidelines of reporting aggressive behavior which delayed termination of Clifton McCree and enhanced his violent and actions. The City can also be liable for not prohibiting his entry into the recreation department after dismissal.

Effect of Discharging Clifton McCree

Discharging Clifton McCree was the most optimal solution for the city considering the danger he was posing to himself and other workers. However, after working for eighteen years in the organization and with 9 years of aggressive and violent threats and behavior, Clifton McCree may have thought that his behavior was already acceptable or rather tolerable by the colleagues and organizational management. Thus, being discharged without prior records of his aggressive tendencies created an abrupt life turnaround, for which he was unprepared. The inability to find alternative work increased his frustrations. Thus, by not having a credible backing to support his dismissals such as previous substantiated reports of aggression and violence, the city increased the chances of retaliation.

Strategies to Minimize Tragedies

Aggressive behavior for communities affected by drug abuse, ethnic and racial unrest, and with ease of access to weapons by disgruntled employees is a major workplace challenge. Therefore, the human resource (HR) manager should encourage the early reporting of aggressive and violent tendencies and take immediate action to stop their propagation (Yragui et al., 2016). The HR department should implement training sessions for managers and employees on how to manage workplace aggression and violence. Besides, companies should develop a strong violence and aggression policy to inform employees of appropriate workplace behavior and the consequences of inappropriate actions. The HR Manager should also accompany employee punishment with a reinforcement methods such as recommendation for counseling to enable the affected worker to overcome the negative behavioral trend and reinforce forge positive workplace relationships(Nankervis et al., 2019).




Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, D. J., & Shields, J. (2019). Human Resource Management.

                                                                                                                          Cengage AU.

Yragui, N. L., Demsky, C. A., Hammer, L. B., Van Dyck, S., & Neradilek, M. B. (2016).

Linking workplace aggression to employee well-being and work: The moderating role of family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB). Journal of Business and Psychology, 32(2), 179-196. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-016-9443-z















Appendix A:

Communication Plan for an Inpatient Unit to Evaluate the Impact of Transformational Leadership Style Compared to Other Leader Styles such as Bureaucratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership in Nurse Engagement, Retention, and Team Member Satisfaction Over the Course of One Year

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