Nordstrom: The Workplace Violence Dilemma
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Black Friday, the day after American Thanksgiving, marked the official start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. It was a day that generally brought smiles to the executives of retailing giant Nordstrom, Inc. (Nordstrom). However, on November 28, 2014, Nordstrom had to deal with the tragic loss of a seasonal worker at a Nordstrom store in downtown Chicago. She had been killed in a workplace violence incident involving her former boyfriend. The event was a reminder of an earlier incident involving an Indianapolis-based employee who was terminated in November 2013. Even though Nordstrom had been a strong advocate for workplace safety, the retailer had endured public scrutiny after terminating the employee, who was victimized by her ex-boyfriend. These two workplace violence incidents made it necessary for Nordstrom’s management to determine how best to protect all Nordstrom stakeholders in the future.
This case is designed primarily for MBA and executive MBA students; however, it can be used with undergraduate students as well. The case can be used in courses on human resource management and business law. After completion of this case, students will be able to
understand the complexity of workplace violence from a human resource management and legal perspective;
understand the importance of developing effective workplace violence policies;
appreciate the employee’s rights in the workplace; and
appreciate the employer’s rights and obligations in its working environment.
United States, Large, 2013-2014
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