“Someone’s putting flyers on the windshields out in the parking lot.” The client discreetly folded the piece of paper and handed it to the doctor in the exam room. Dr. Smith had to step out of the exam room for a moment to maintain her composure and not show alarm in front of the client. “Stephanie, can you go out and collect these off of the cars in the parking lot after you take a picture to show what has happened?” Stephanie opens the flyer and shakes her head, “you know where these are coming from right?” Dr. Smith nods and they know that Robert, ex-kennel employee has just stepped over the line when he came onto the clinic property and put flyers on client and employee cars. 

Dr. Smith gathered the team together to acknowledge what was happening. First, it was the phone calls, then the online reviews that were obviously fictional and traceable back to this employee (he admitted them on his FB page to several employees) and now the flyers. 

Dr. Smith reviewed safety and security around the building with the team and to report to her any communication that they receive from the employee. When the flyers appeared again and were placed upon the car dealership’s parked cars next door, Dr. Smith knew that this wasn’t going to be something that just went away. After a discussion with the police, she decided that reviewing these events with her attorney was in order. She disclosed to the attorney that she had received some disturbing messages on her phone and hadn’t said anything to the team to keep them from worrying about her.

Note:  The following information is not intended to serve as legal advice and is only for information purposes.

Dr. Smith met with Ms. Amanda, the attorney about what had transpired. After listening carefully and reviewing all the documents and the list of incidents, the attorney recommended the following course of action:

View Attorney Recommendations & Comments

Contact the police and ensure that they are aware of what is happening, frequency and length of time that the incidents occurred.

The ex-employee was fired 90 days ago, and this activity persists.

Review safety and security for the team and report any issues.

Pat yourself on the back Dr. Smith, you already did that part.

Do consider upgrading the security of the building.

Cameras, motion detection lights, and security service.

A letter that clearly identified that the ex-employee needs to stop these actions immediately.

There is no reason for the ex-employee to have any contact with the practice.

Pursue a trespass order that would advise the ex-employee that they do not have permission to come onto the practice property.

If this persists then a temporary restraining order (TR) may be required.

This is a court-issued restraining order to prevent any contact with the ex-employee.

The state where this occurred also has a law in place that strengthens the ability to protect workplaces from potentially violent employees.

Does your state have this law? Check out: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/

Assure that the employee manual policies on safety, violence prevention, and reporting potential issues are reviewed regularly with the team and encourage team members to report if there is any concern.

Dr. Smith was able to complete these tasks and from the day the letter arrived from the attorney to the ex-employee. As a result, it got very quiet in and around the practice, and it stayed very quiet. While it’s been nearly a year since this happened, the practice owner says that what she learned was invaluable.

And, now she wants to look at what she could do to reduce or prevent these types of events from occurring in the future. Stay tuned, Part Two of this article will be in our next newsletter.