;-SRO-Ends-Threat.aspxGP0|#3795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e;L0|#03795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e|Security by Industry;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Shooting at Maryland High School Leaves One Dead; SRO Ends Threat0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Starting from the End: Creating a Master Security Plan|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Book Review: Supply Chain Security|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Fair & Neutral|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Four Challenges Facing Aviation Security|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Book Review: Supply Chain Security2018-03-01T05:00:00Z|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Securing Special Events2018-02-23T05:00:00Z|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Book Review: Surveillance Zone2018-03-01T05:00:00Z|#91bd5d60-260d-42ec-a815-5fd358f1796d;L0|#091bd5d60-260d-42ec-a815-5fd358f1796d|Cybersecurity;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465Book Review: Cybersecurity Law2018-01-01T05:00:00Z|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465January 2018 ASIS News2018-01-01T05:00:00Z

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Not a Member? Join Now Review: Supply Chain SecurityGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465<p><em>​Butterworth-Heinemann;; 200 pages; $49.95.</em></p><p>Anyone who intends to enter the realm of supply chains and logistics must read <em>Global Supply Chain Security and Management. </em>Author Darren Prokop brings vast experience in the academic and practical worlds of supply chain management to this book. He goes the extra mile to package a tremendous amount of critical information in a compact volume to produce an easy-to-read narrative and valuable reference guide to these types of global operations.  </p><p>Not only does the book identify the threats of today and tomorrow, it also provides useful insight on how to combat them. Going beyond the issues of insider/outsider theft and shipping damage, Prokop redefines the threat to include terrorism and natural disasters. He adds key chapters on topics of human and natural threats, information technology, and risk mitigation. </p><p>Prokop introduces the concept of game theory in the synergies between players in the global shipping arena, and he explains how a competitive situation may morph into a cooperative one. He points out the dual role that government plays in the global shipping effort—serving as both a policing agent and a supply chain partner. Key take-aways include recent U.S. regulatory decisions, the latest technologies for securing infrastructures, and up-to-date theories and techniques of industrial organization and security.</p><p>This book is an excellent tool for faculty and students of security management and supply chain management. Security practitioners in other disciplines would do well to add it to their professional libraries, as well.</p><p><em>Reviewer: Terry Lee Wettig, CPP, is an independent security consultant who served 10 years as director of risk management with Brink's Incorporated. A retired U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant, he is currently a doctoral candidate specializing in organizational psychology. He is an ASIS member. ​</em></p> Review: Surveillance ZoneGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465<p>Published by CreateSpace; available from; 176 pages; $13.99.​<i></i></p><p>Too often, security books read like how-to manuals. Ami Toben avoids that trap in <em>Surveillance Zone: The Hidden World of Corporate Surveillance Detection & Covert Special Operations.</em> Toben gets the mix just right, offering personal narrative, professional strategies, and client relations.</p><p>​His journey, which took him from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to Japan, Canada, and the United States, helped shape him into a corporate security consultant. He makes the case that international experiences are a force multiplier in the security business. Protective intelligence requires a keen understanding of human behaviors in context. The younger Toben often found himself in foreign settings where, lacking native language skills, he depended on the ability to discern micro-behaviors. He writes, "If you can't understand people, you can't fully understand how to assess and mitigate security risks."     </p><p>Per the title, the book focuses on surveillance—hostile and mobile surveillance, as well as surveillance detection. It recognizes how involved and demanding surveillance can be, especially when protecting a principal or infrastructure. </p><p>A chapter titled "Circles of Security" contains parallels to ASIS's Protection of Assets' layered approach. Toben adds an "intelligence circle" that provides a threat-focused context to overall strategy, looking at each threat's attributes (description, motivation, capability). In corporate security, the added value of finished intelligence reporting remains the exception; thus costly physical security systems and operations investments are often made without a reasonable estimate of the threat an organization faces.</p><p>Toben has written an entertaining and informative book.  He's refreshingly honest about who he is and how he found himself in the security consulting field. Young professionals looking to get their foot in the door will find it useful. And seasoned pros with tradecraft training will learn something, too. Toben's personal insights and observations add a dimension often lacking in traditional industry works.</p><p><em>Reviewer: Anthony McGinty, CPP, is a senior intelligence analyst with CSRA Inc. contracted to Los Angeles International Airport. He retired as a detective from the Washington, DC, Police Department's Intelligence Division. A retired U.S. Marine Corps Reserve lieutenant colonel, he is a member of the ASIS Global Terrorism and Political Instability Council.</em></p> and the United NationsGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465<p></p><p>Taser use is once again in the news. Nils Melzer, the special rapporteur on torture for the United Nations  (U.N.)Commission on Human Rights, called for U.S. officials to investigate Taser use on inmates in jails in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.</p><p>Melzer made his remarks after reviewing footage of 22 incidents in jails in Franklin County, Ohio; Cheatham County, Tennessee; Franklin County, Arkansas; and McCurtain County, Oklahoma. The footage was obtained and published by Reuters.</p><p>In an interview with Reuters, Melzer said the incidents reflected gratuitous infliction of severe pain and suffering which violated the United Nations' prohibition on cruel and inhuman punishment. In some cases Taser use amounted to torture.</p><p>In its video report and article published in December, Reuters identified 104 cases of prisoners who died after being shocked with Tasers. Nearly 80 percent of those 104 inmates had not been convicted of a crime. Reuters was able to gather significant detail on 70 of the 104 cases; in more than two-thirds of the 70, the inmate was already immobilized—pinned to the ground or held by officers—when shocked. About one-third were cuffed or in other restraints.</p><p>Of those 104 cases, Reuters was able to obtain cause-of-death information on 84 cases. The Taser was identified as a contributing factor of death in more than 21 of those 84 cases. </p><p>Jens Modvig, chairman of the U.N. Committee against Torture, also said the incidents published by Reuters represented blatant abuse that may violate laws. The United States, as a signatory to the U.N. Convention against Torture, is obligated to investigate the cases, Modvig argued.  </p><p>The Reuters report and the statement by U.N. officials marks the latest chapter in the ongoing debate on Taser use.</p><p>Various studies have shown that Tasers may pose some health risks, depending on how they are used, and on whom. </p><p>But other studies show they can be used as an effective enforcement tool in some cases, that may ultimately reduce the number of violent assaults and sometimes even save lives. The U.N.'s Melzer, while condemning the incidents published by Reuters, also said that in general Tasers can be a justifiable tool for prison guards as an alternative to a gun, to incapacitate a person who poses a threat.</p><p>And this year may see the San Francisco Police Department adopt the use of Tasers. It is one of the last major U.S. forces to do so. In November 2017, the San Francisco Police Commission voted 4–3 to allow the city's police department to begin equipping its officers with Tasers in December 2018. The vote was taken near the end of a long meeting that was interrupted by a protest that led to a lockdown of City Hall. The issue had been debated and rejected in the city for years.  </p> in the WorkplaceGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465<p>​In late 2017, a photograph surfaced of three construction workers from American Sewer Services carrying weapons on a job site in Milwaukee. In the photo, two men clearly displayed their weapons in holsters, while another held a pistol in his hand.</p><p>As a result, the three construction workers were fired. The city of Milwaukee cited its policy that prohibits employees from bringing weapons to their jobs, including employees of subcontractors. </p><p>One gun advocate defended the workers and said the geographic area where they carried their weapons was "infamous" for its crime rate, The Blaze reported.  </p><p>On the other end of the spectrum, a Wisconsin state legislator told the media outlet that carrying guns openly on the job was "irresponsible." </p><p>While the city of Milwaukee has a clear policy on guns, for most private employers, the issue is anything but cut-and-dried. There is currently no U.S. federal law regulating weapons at private workplaces, but many state legislatures have taken up the cause of protecting the Second Amendment rights of employees while on the job. These laws, which are typically designed to protect employees' individual rights to possess concealed firearms, vary in terms of their restrictions and make it tough for employers operating in multiple U.S. states to implement one weapons policy across the board. </p><p>Workplace shootings have become increasingly common in the United States over the last few decades. The number of these incidents rose 15 percent in 2015 to 354 shootings, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and resulting homicides grew by 2 percent that year.  </p><p>Gun advocates cite such cases as reasons to allow guns in the workplace, while critics say these shootings are exactly why employers should ban firearms. As the debate rages on, employers are left grappling with the question of how to comply with state law and institute their own policies that promote a safe work environment. </p><p>While there are many legal twists and turns surrounding the issue, security practitioners must deal with the question of how current laws affect their responsibility to keep employees and property safe from external and internal threats. </p><p>By understanding the legal landscape surrounding firearms on work property, and ensuring that existing policies and procedures properly address workplace violence, security professionals can help promote a safe work environment without infringing on the legal rights of their employees.  ​</p><h4>Parking Lot Laws<img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0318%20Cover%20Story%20Chart.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:369px;height:572px;" /> </h4><p>Most commonly, workplace gun laws allow employees the right to have firearms in their locked, private vehicles while parked on company-owned property. Additional obligations may be placed on the employer, such as a prohibition on searching vehicles and discriminating against an employee because he or she is a gun owner. </p><p>Twenty-three U.S. states provide some level of protection for employees who bring their firearms to company property. These so-called "parking lot laws" were part of an effort by state legislatures in the early 2000s to allow workers to exercise their Second Amendment rights at work, with some restrictions. </p><p>For example, often the gun must be locked in the trunk or glove box, or be hidden from view through the vehicle's windows. But the business community sees many issues with these laws and fears they will have a far-reaching impact on both employee safety and legal liability.</p><p>Parking lot laws vary in the level of protection they offer gun owners. Most prohibit employers from asking workers if they own guns, and from firing employees for owning firearms. These laws frequently conflict with existing workplace policies, which limit the employee's ability to bring firearms to work. </p><p>Oklahoma was the first U.S. state to pass a parking lot law when it amended legislation in 2004 to protect firearm owners from weapons prohibitions in workplace parking lots. </p><p>In 2002, an Oklahoma employer terminated several employees for having guns in their vehicles, which were parked on the employer's property. In response to the outcry that followed, the Oklahoma legislature amended the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act to ban employers from establishing any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting employees from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle that is parked in employers' lots. </p><p>This caused great concern among the business community, which felt certain that the law would not survive legal scrutiny. In response, a group of Oklahoma employers challenged the state law, arguing that the legislation conflicted with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) general duty clause, also known as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), a U.S. federal law. </p><p>The plaintiffs argued that the general duty clause says employers must maintain a safe and secure workplace free of violence, and preempts any existing U.S. state law. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma agreed with the employers.</p><p>The district court reasoned that under the general duty clause, gun-related workplace violence is a "recognized hazard." Therefore, any employer allowing firearms in the workplace lot may be in violation of U.S. federal law by promoting an unsafe workplace.</p><p>The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which reversed the decision. The court reasoned that "OSHA has not indicated in any way that employers should prohibit firearms from company parking lots," according to court documents. "OSHA's website, guidelines, and citation history do not speak at all to any such prohibition." </p><p>Because OSHA does not indicate that employers should prohibit firearms from company parking lots, the appellate court ruled that there is no U.S. federal law that would preempt Oklahoma's amendment to the Self-Defense Act. </p><p>This initial case was a signal that employers would not be able to simply dismiss these laws by citing safety and security concerns or by arguing that U.S. federal regulations created an obligation to keep the workplace free of employees' weapons.​</p><h4>Employee Rights</h4><p>More lawsuits can be expected regarding employee termination based on gun-free workplace policies. An intriguing case comes out of the state of Florida, which passed a comprehensive law in 2008 that prohibits public and private employers from discriminating against any employee, customer, or invitee for exercising the right to keep and bear arms. </p><p>Under the Florida law, employers are barred from many actions, including: prohibiting employees or invitees from possessing legally owned firearms in their vehicles; inquiring about the presence of a firearm in the employee or invitee's vehicles; searching a private motor vehicle; and taking any action against an employee or invitee based on any verbal or written statement regarding the possession of a firearm in a private vehicle. </p><p>The law also says that companies are barred from conditioning employment on the following: whether an employee or prospective employee holds a concealed-weapons permit; an agreement by the employee or prospective employee that forbids the employee from keeping a legal firearm locked in his or her vehicle when the firearm is kept for lawful purposes; or prohibiting any employee or invitee from entering the parking lot because the employee or invitee's vehicle contains a legal firearm. </p><p>Finally, the law bars employers from terminating or otherwise discriminating against an employee or expelling an invitee for exercising the right to keep and bear arms or to exercise self-defense, so long as the firearm is not exhibited on company property for any reason other than lawful defensive purposes.</p><p>In December 2015, an employee who worked for Universal theme park in Orlando, Florida, had a concealed weapon in his vehicle in the employee parking garage. The employee, who had worked for Universal since 1993, commonly left his gun in his car at work. One day, the handgun was stolen from his vehicle, and he reported it to the police.</p><p>When park officials learned that he had a firearm on company property, they terminated him, claiming that he had violated Universal's gun-free zone policy. </p><p>The employee sued Universal in Orange County Circuit Court, citing the 2008 law. The lawsuit argued that he had an express right to bring his gun onto the lot and leave it in his vehicle. </p><p>Universal claimed that the Florida law didn't apply because schools and prisons are exempt from state weapons policies, and Universal has a program for school children on its property. Before the litigation could play out, Universal gave the employee his job back in April 2016 and he withdrew the lawsuit, the Orlando Sentinel reported. </p><p>Comparable cases have been filed in similar circumstances in other states. In Kentucky, a man was fired from UPS Supply Chain Solutions in May 2013 for transferring a gun lawfully stored in his personal vehicle to another worker's personal vehicle. </p><p>The man, who had a concealed carry permit, said he experienced car trouble on the way to work, and moved the weapon because he was taking his car to be repaired. The fellow employee storing his weapon as a favor soon became uncomfortable and reported it to his supervisor. </p><p>The company then placed the employee on suspension and eventually fired him, citing that its policy only allowed for weapons inside a private vehicle. The company claimed that by removing the gun from his personal vehicle, he violated the workplace policy. </p><p> In the lawsuit, the employee claimed that under a Kentucky Revised Statute, a firearm may be "removed from the vehicle or handled" when it is done so in "defense of property." </p><p>But the court ruled that the employee was attempting to interpret their law too broadly. "However inclined we might be to believe that such an exception would be a good thing, we decline to construe the term 'defense of property' as broadly as the employee suggests," the court wrote. (Holly v. UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, March 2017)  ​</p><h4>Employer Protections</h4><p>Several U.S. states have included some liability protections to provide conditional immunity to employers that comply with their state's guns-at-work law. This is mainly in response to the business community's outcry over what liability they will face for workplace violence involving guns on their property. </p><p>For example, under Georgia law, an employer is not liable for any criminal or civil action for damages arising from an occurrence involving the transportation, storage, possession, or use of a firearm, including theft of the firearm, unless the employer commits a criminal act involving a firearm, or if the employer knew the person using the firearm would commit a criminal act on the employer's premises. </p><p>While the Georgia law provides some cover for employers, it also leaves them vulnerable to lawsuits if they knew the person would commit an act of violence. This raises many questions as to how to handle someone who may have violent tendencies. How do you restrict that person's access to firearms in his or her vehicle? Can you terminate him or her based on that assumption alone? </p><p>Policies. Although these laws at face value complicate certain aspects of workplace violence policies and active shooter response plans, there are many steps that employers can take. Most importantly, security practitioners should educate themselves on relevant U.S. state guidelines, and confer with their general counsel on these issues to avoid unknowingly breaking the law. </p><p>For example, signs that read "no weapons" in parking lots are illegal in some U.S. states in certain circumstances. Knowing the limitations will allow companies to properly respond without risking legal liability.</p><p>If located in a state with current legal provisions for weapons in the workplace, companies should educate their workers on the boundaries of that law. For example, some employees will unintentionally assume they have greater rights, such as open-carry or storing the weapon inside the workplace. </p><p>Workplace violence. Policies on workplace violence should include a thorough explanation of relevant state law regarding guns on workplace property. Employers should be comprehensive in creating policies that outline how to report and respond to employees who are potentially violent or otherwise pose a threat to the safety of others. </p><p>Many employers lose their conditional immunity in a workplace shooting or incident if the perpetrator was someone who had a history of violence, or was otherwise known to the employer to be a threat. </p><p>In U.S. states that make provisions for weapons on workplace property, conducting high-risk terminations are of greater concern. Employees who store weapons in their cars, abiding by the law, could inadvertently become a threat during termination. </p><p>When firing any individual considered to be high-risk, companies should consider providing a security escort to the parking lot. Security should ensure that the former employee has left the property, and front desk or other reception team members should be alerted that the person is not allowed back on the premises. Organizations should train security officers, as well as human resource employees, in the use of de-escalation techniques.  </p><p>Finally, for workplaces that must comply with parking lot laws, there are several steps that will help protect the employer while respecting the legal rights of employees. </p><p>Organizations may consider increasing security in parking areas, such as adding an access control point; conducting patrols around the building and in parking lots; installing or enhancing video surveillance systems; and implementing proper lighting. </p><p>In some cases, bag searches or mag­neto­­meters may be installed at building entry points, but legal requirements should be checked before implementing such measures. Deterring the carriage of weapons outside the vehicle will generally serve as a reminder of the law and keep both employers and employees safe. </p><p>At first glance, the laws surrounding weapons in the workplace may seem like a jigsaw puzzle that is difficult to comprehend, but there are steps employers can take to ensure that assets and people are protected. Understanding the law and establishing strong policies within the employers' legal rights will ensure that workplaces abide by the law while keeping their assets and people safe.  </p><p><em>Eddie Sorrells, CPP, PCI, PSP, is chief operating officer and general counsel at DSI Security Services in Dothan, Alabama. He is the author of Security Litigation: Best Practices for Managing and Preventing Security-Related Lawsuits. He can be reached at ​</em></p> Challenges Facing Aviation SecurityGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465<p>​Anthony McGinty, CPP, is a Senior Intelligence Analyst with CSRA Inc., contracted to Los Angeles International Airport. He is a member of the ASIS Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime Council. </p><p><strong>1. Airports as cities.</strong> Traditional city problems are finding their way into airports—the homeless, the mentally ill, drug abuse, petty and complex crime, and civil disobedience. For law enforcement and security agencies, the challenge is to simultaneously perform first-responder duties while identifying high-consequence threats to aviation operations. Both require specific, distinct skill sets. Security directors need to balance assets, personnel, and operations to mitigate both public disorder and homeland security risks.</p><p><strong>2. International terrorism.</strong> Commercial aviation will remain an attractive target for militant groups and extremists. The public side of airports—curbside to security screening—is vulnerable to an array of terrorist attacks, including active shooters, luggage filled with explosives, weaponized drones, and vehicle ramming. Thousands of militants, technically proficient and ideologically motivated, who are returning from the failing ISIS caliphate may regroup under new flags, join al Qaeda affiliates, or act independently. </p><p><strong>3. In-flight disruptions. </strong>On a weekly basis, media reports and Internet videos display the latest outrage inside aircraft cabins—brawling, drunken rants, sexual assaults, and defying flight attendants. This trend of in-flight disputes and violence at 35,000 feet is potentially dangerous. Short of placing a security officer on board, solutions may involve institutional changes in the flight crew-to-passenger relationship. For example, instances of human traffickers using commercial airlines are so common now that flight crews are being trained to spot indicators and act. This is a further example of the changing role of flight crews from comforters to enforcers.</p><p><strong>4. Insider threat. </strong>Terrorist groups may enlist airport employees to circumvent security screening—especially employees with direct access to aircraft. Employees have also smuggled drugs, weapons, and other contraband. Just one radicalized or disgruntled employee can commit an act that leads to a catastrophic incident, which makes addressing insider threats a priority. Airports and airlines are implementing their own strategies to mitigate this threat. Mostly, this effort has involved security screening of all—or select—employees prior to entering restricted zones. Technology may support this effort as well. New analytics capabilities embedded in video and access control systems can provide a sophisticated surveillance tool. Self-policing with a rigorous, internal "See Something, Say Something" effort is essential.   ​</p> & NeutralGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465<p>​The recent flood of sexual harassment allegations in the United States, from Hollywood to Capitol Hill to New York City, has given people around the world new confidence to publicly denounce sexual harassment and other types of misconduct.</p><p>One powerful example is the Twitter hashtag, #MeToo, which has now been used by more than 1.7 million people in 85 countries to speak out and name their harassers. The allegations have resulted in tangible change: in the past several months dozens of public figures, accused of behaviors ranging from inappropriate harassment to sexual assault, have been fired or forced to resign from high-profile positions.</p><p>This remarkable spike in firings is also an extension of a longer-term development. Over the past five years, 5.3 percent of CEOs globally have been forcibly removed due to ethical lapses, including harassment, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study. In the United States, that's a 102 percent increase from the previous five years. And during last year alone—before the #MeToo movement—harassment cost U.S. companies more than $160 million in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settlements, an all-time high. </p><p>Some say these unprecedented developments represent nothing short of a social revolution, one that will have serious ramifications for employers. After the news of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein came out, the EEOC saw a fourfold increase in visitors to the sexual harassment section of its website. This trend demonstrates that employers must be prepared for the possibility that harassment complaints within their organizations may increase, and they must have effective policies and procedures for responding and acting on them.  </p><p>When these accusations come out, many organizations are quick to end established relationships with the person being accused—usually to protect the enterprise and the brand, but also to show support for those reporting the allegations. However, it is important to remember that conducting a competent investigation to uncover the truth is vital. It protects the enterprise and all parties involved, and it will encourage other victims of misconduct to come forward.</p><p>This article explores how employers, employees, and those commissioned to investigate allegations of misconduct can develop proactive procedures to ensure that the rights of all parties are equally considered in every investigation. Establishing such informed procedures mitigates the risk of civil action, while demonstrating a commitment to fairness.​</p><h4>Understanding the Offenses</h4><p>There are generally three classifications of sex-related incidents: harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. The following is a breakdown of how the three are legally defined in the United States.</p><p><strong>Harassment. </strong>Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).</p><p>According to the EEOC, harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful in either of two situations—when enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or when the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) usually do not rise to the level of illegality.</p><p>Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws. Similarly, harassment in retaliation against somebody who is opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals and violate these laws, is also prohibited.  </p><p>What constitutes offensive conduct? It often includes, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. </p><p>Harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances and settings. The harasser may directly supervise the victim, or he or she may work in a different area of the enterprise. The harasser may also be a vendor, contractor, or agent of the employer. The victim may be a workplace invitee who is not employed with the company. And the victim does not have to be the person harassed; he or she can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. Finally, it is important to remember that unlawful harassment may occur without economic injury to, or discharge of, the victim. </p><p><strong>Sexual harassment.</strong> Harassment sometimes escalates to sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other types of verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.</p><p>Sexual harassment is defined as either quid pro quo or hostile environment. According to the EEOC guidelines, quid pro quo harassment occurs when an individual's rejection of or submission to unwanted conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual. Hostile environment harassment occurs when submission to unwelcome sexual conduct is made (either explicitly or implicitly) a term or condition of an individual's employment. </p><p>However, the line is often unclear regarding quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment claims. For example, hostile environment harassment may acquire characteristics of quid pro quo harassment if the offending supervisor abuses his or her authority over employment decisions to force the victim to endure or participate in unwanted sexual conduct.</p><p> Sexual harassment may culminate in a retaliatory discharge if the victim tells the harasser or employer that he or she will no longer submit to harassment, and is then fired in retaliation for this protest. Under these circumstances, it is appropriate to conclude that both harassment and retaliation in violation of U.S. federal law have occurred, according to the EEOC.</p><p><strong>Sexual assaults. </strong>Sexual harassment can sometimes turn into a sex crime. These crimes can range from rape and battery to other criminal offenses, and they call for law enforcement investigation and potential criminal prosecution. Too often, employers and their investigative teams fail to recognize that the victim is reporting a crime, not just work-related harassment.​</p><h4>Abuse Patterns</h4><p>Sexual harassers and offenders frequently demonstrate certain patterns of misconduct. Perpetrators often leverage their power and control over the victims, especially if the victim is an employee. In fact, some offenders carefully seek victims they believe to be vulnerable, who have too much to lose to report inappropriate behavior.</p><p>In these cases, the perpetrator may use intimidation tactics to demonstrate control over the victim's position with the enterprise. Moreover, he or she may engage in emotional abuse, especially if the victim feels trapped because he or she needs the job.  </p><p>A major warning sign is an attempt to isolate the victim. This may start when the one with the power communicates a desire to mentor and help the intended target. Then, the mentoring may progress so that moments of emotional intimacy are created. This can make the victims feel as if they voluntarily put themselves in the situation by sharing personal experiences. Moreover, if the victim shares some intimate secrets in these conversations, the perpetrator may later use them for emotional blackmail, to secure the victim's silence. Sometimes, the victim discusses personal relationships, which may lead to sexual revelations. Once the hook is set, the harasser can make the victim feel complicit in an inappropriate workplace emotional or physical affair, but that does not minimize the seriousness of the harasser's behavior.</p><p>If confronted, offenders often take pains to minimize questionable conduct. They may say they were only joking or blame the victim (or others) for the offensive behavior. They will usually deny any wrongdoing during initial interviews, because they know it is their word versus the word of a powerless victim. They may posture their power to further intimidate the victim: "I've been with the company for years and am well-respected. No one will believe you!" </p><p>And in some cases, offenders will use their position of authority and apply economic pressure. Executives often have the power to promote, demote, or sabotage a subordinate's career path. For abusers, these can be powerful tools of oppression to wield, because victims often feel that no one will believe them, and they cannot afford to lose earning power. ​</p><h4>Conducting Investigations</h4><p>Creating and conducting a neutral and fair investigation is critical to the successful resolution of harassment complaints, but employers must be careful. </p><p>As a framework, it is important for organizations to establish investigation-related policies, procedures, and an enterprisewide training program, and to maintain a culture that encourages victims to report misconduct.</p><p>Most enterprises in these situations turn to outside experts, especially when working with legal counsel. Here, experience is crucial; skilled investigators who have years of experience conducting sensitive investigations of sexual misconduct are valuable assets. Too often, inexperienced investigators leave the employer with no evidence and a "he said, she said" inconclusive finding. By keeping some important investigative steps in mind, security professionals can maximize the likelihood of reaching a conclusive investigative result.</p><p>First, do not discount any reports of harassment or misconduct. Often victims will hint about less offensive conduct to "test the waters." In these cases, the victim may want to know that you care and will believe him or her before they disclose the full seriousness of the conduct. </p><p>Of course, this does not mean everyone reporting misconduct is telling the truth, or the whole truth. In some instances, accusers may use claims as a preemptive measure to avoid being disciplined or discharged, because they have been forewarned that their performance or conduct has not met expectations. In these situations, the supervisor should be accompanied by an HR representative or other neutral supervisor in disciplinary meetings.</p><p>Similarly, a witness should be present when the accuser is interviewed. To help understand the accuser's version of events, security managers should ask questions that help clarify encounters, but should avoid leading questions. Never blame the victim for failing to report the matter earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, counsel may request that the interviews be video recorded with the consent of those being interviewed. Video recording interviews is a good way to memorialize important statements, but you must be prepared to meet resistance to this request. In case of such resistance, you may explain that video recording is standard procedure, and that it avoids misunderstandings about what was said and helps properly document any remedial actions required by law. </p><p>Often, the victim begins the conversation with the statement, "Can I confide in you about a problem?" However, security managers can never commit to secrecy, because they may be compelled to report what they are told. So, the answer must be on point, such as, "Mary, you clearly came to me because you know I care. Tell me what's on your mind and I'll tell you what the next steps are that I can take." </p><p>In interviewing the victim, one of the most critical questions that is often overlooked is, "Whom have you confided in about this matter?" More often than not, victims of sexual misconduct share with trusted confidants. So, ask victims what they revealed, and when they shared the information. This will provide important witnesses who can help corroborate the victim's integrity. Be careful about immediately believing reports of misconduct that occurred years ago without corroborative testimony or evidence. It does not mean the accuser is being untruthful, but time diminishes evidence and memories.​</p><h4>Interviewing the Accused</h4><p>Interviewing the accused is another important step. Too often the accused is interviewed too early in the investigation, before all circumstances are known. Another common misstep is asking closed-ended questions that can make it easier to deny the allegations, such as, "Did you touch Mary in your office last week?" </p><p>Questions that are open-ended but targeted are critical to helping determine the truth, and developing them in advance can help determine a successful outcome. </p><p>During the process, it is imperative that the accused and accuser be separated to avoid claims of retaliation. Communicate clearly to the accused that he or she is not to speak to the accuser, or engage in any behavior that may be interpreted as unlawful retaliation. If the accuser is a direct report of the accused, the latter should be transferred. Transferring the accuser to another manager, absent written consent by the victim to be reassigned, can result in a claim of retaliation.</p><p>Preserving evidence is vital to the investigation. Emails, text messages, voice mails, work schedules, diaries, and other evidence must be properly documented and preserved. Practicing this consistently is often the key to uncovering evidence that proves or disproves the allegations. </p><p>Finally, remember that documentation is the investigator's salvation. Every step, every interview, and every finding should be clearly documented. The investigation must be fair and neutral to all parties. Decisionmakers will draw conclusions based on the investigative findings; the investigator's  role is to assemble the facts, so they can fully inform the conclusions. ​</p><h4>Employer Liability </h4><p>The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, or loss of wages. If the supervisor's harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior, and that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.</p><p>The employer will be liable for harassment by nonsupervisory employees or nonemployees over whom it has control (for example, independent contractors or customers on the premises) if it knew, or should have known, about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.</p><p>When investigating allegations of harassment, the EEOC looks at the entire record, including the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A determination of whether harassment is severe or pervasive enough to be illegal is made on a case-by-case basis.​</p><h4>Prevention is Key</h4><p>Prevention is the best tool to mitigate harassment in the workplace. Establish clear anti-harassment policies and procedures, provide training at all levels, and take immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains. Clearly communicate to employees that unwelcome harassing and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated. In addition, employees should be encouraged to both inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop, and report harassment to management at an early stage to prevent its escalation.</p><p>Employers should strive to create an environment and a work culture in which employees feel free to raise concerns and are confident that those concerns will be addressed. The result will be a positive workplace where all personnel are valued.​</p><h4>A Rush to Judgment</h4><p>As seen in recent events, employers are often quick to distance themselves from the accused prior to any investigation. This response hurts the enterprise and brand, because it sends a message of a rush to judgment, or damage control. The first public response, if any, is to communicate that the company takes all allegations seriously, conducts a thorough investigation, and then takes effective remedial steps.</p><p>The EEOC does not demand termination, but it does require that companies take effective remedial steps. Termination may be warranted, but the investigation will determine the ultimate disciplinary measures. Ask the accuser what he or she thinks should happen to the perpetrator. Listening to this proposed solution often mitigates the risk of civil claims, because the accuser was part of the investigation, apprised of the findings, and involved in determining the appropriate remedial steps.</p><p>If your organization has not equipped itself to perform a thorough and fair investigation, it may decide instead on a hasty termination, or an immediate distancing from the accused. This is a mistake. If made, the next time you get to hear a response from the accused may be in a deposition in a costly and highly public civil lawsuit. Or worse, in a criminal court.  </p><p><br></p><h4>Sidebar: Questioning the Accused</h4><p> </p><p>Here are some examples of open-ended questions, along with warning flags that can lead an investigator into a more useful inquiry:</p><p> What does Mary know about you personally?</p><ul><li><p>The accused shares intimate details that superiors have little reason to know about their employees.</p></li><li><p>The accused blames the employee for wanting to meet alone.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>Why should we not believe Mary?</p><ul><li><p>The accused may come in armed with reasons she cannot be believed, even though previous evaluations about Mary have been stellar.</p></li><li><p>The accused may use rank, length of service, and position as reasons to believe him or her, instead of answering the question directly.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>How many times have you met with Mary alone in the past six months?</p><ul><li><p>The accused makes excuses for meeting with the employee alone.</p></li><li><p>The accused blames the employee for wanting to meet alone.</p></li><li><p>The accused claims to have a bad memory and can't recall how many times he or she has met with the employee alone, much less the context and content of such meetings.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>Assume a supervisor apologizes, gets help, and pays Mary for counseling. What would you like to see a company do?</p><ul><li><p>The accused often uses this question to agree that these steps should be taken; which is generally a tacit admission that he or she engaged in the behavior.</p></li><li><p>The accused does not believe the supervisor should be harshly punished.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>What did Mary share with you about her life?</p><ul><li><p>The accused shares intimate details that superiors have little reason to know about their employees.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>Who should we interview about Mary and what will they say?</p><ul><li><p>The accused attacks Mary by listing all the reasons she cannot be believed, while being unable to name potential witnesses. He or she may name trusted colleagues who can comment only about his or her performance and who have little information about Mary.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>What do you believe Mary has said about you?</p><ul><li><p>The accused reveals personal or intimate information.</p></li><li><p>The response of the accused mirrors the statement that the accuser provided about the misconduct.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>Tell me everything you know about Mary.</p><ul><li><p>The accused quickly tells you information designed to discredit the victim that has never been reported or documented.</p></li><li><p>The accused knows too much about Mary's personal life.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>Assume we believe Mary, what do you think should happen?</p><ul><li><p>Often, a perpetrator seeks mercy or a second chance.</p></li><li><p>The accused personalizes the outcome to minimize the chances of being dismissed or publicly ridiculed.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>When we interview past and present employees, how many will say that you talked about private or sexual matters?</p><ul><li><p>Instead of an immediate and clear denial, the accused will have difficulty remembering.</p></li><li><p>The accused attempts to throw other employees under the proverbial bus, although no problems were previously reported.​</p></li></ul><p><em>Steven C. Millwee, CPP, is the founder, president, and CEO of SecurTest, Inc., a background screening and investigative consulting firm. Millwee was the 2002 president of ASIS International. He is a frequent expert witness in sexual harassment cases, and is the author of several harassment and sexual assault biographical questionnaires for use in investigations. ​ ​</em></p>


7 March 2018
Insider Threats (Webinar) ​

12 - 13 March 2018
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04 April 2018
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