High-Risk Terminations – When Your Home Becomes an Extension of the Office

September 28, 2020

We have seen a significant increase in workplace violence threats as a result of high-risk terminations and workforce reductions. Prior to COVID-19, employees and managers had to report to work each day, and most organizations had the necessary physical security measures to protect individuals while at work. With many individuals now working from home, businesses need to consider security measures at managers and senior leaders’ homes. Disgruntled employees have threatened to attend these residences as a result of dissatisfaction with their jobs or workplace closures. We have received recent requests for:

  • Residential threat risk assessments
    • Lighting
    • Camera systems
    • Access and key controls
    • Perimeter barriers
    • Alarm systems
  • Residential security
  • Security awareness training
  • Route planning and counter-surveillance detection
  • Social media and online intelligence gathering
  • Surveillance

In the past, residential security was not generally considered unless the situation was severe. Today with many working from home, some employees feel they need to act out, and with the office being closed, they look for other targets.

We recently had a situation where an employee was on a call with their union rep, human resources, and frontline manager to discuss productive concerns. The individual flew into a fit of rage and threatened to harm all parties on the call. He was later seen driving erratically, following a manager when they left their home. The company had never envisioned this would spill over to their staff’s personal residences. The individual was placed under surveillance and residential security was set up.

Individuals finding themselves terminated or being part of a workforce reduction can feel extremely vulnerable, angry, and unstable due to:

  • Mental health issues
  • Financial pressures
  • No prospects of finding meaningful employment in their current field of work
  • Being released via zoom or phone with no opportunity to vent
  • Feeling isolated
  • Managers not being at work while employees have been asked to come in during the outbreak

It is also vital that you provide some security awareness training. Individuals do not often pay attention to their surroundings, leaving them vulnerable when they leave their homes.

As we enter the second phase of COVID-19, we can expect to see many more situations that we may not have experienced in the past. If you would like more information, feel free to reach out to AFIMAC. We would be happy to provide you with guidance and best practices.
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