3 Types Of Workplace Violence — Is Your Employer Liable?

Workplace violence is distressing and can wreak havoc on your life both physically and emotionally. But is your employer liable if you're victimized at the workplace? The answer may be yes. To help you understand how and why, here are three types of workplace violence and how your employer is affected. 

1. Violence Between Employees

You spend a lot of time around your co-workers every week. And some of these may not be individuals you would otherwise spend time with. They also have their own stressors as well as personal and mental health issues. So, first and foremost, each employee is liable for their own actions. 

However, your employer may also have some responsibility depending on how they manage the workplace. If they were aware of potential problems like threats by a disgruntled employee or past convictions for violent crimes, the employer could easily be deemed negligent in providing a safe workplace. 

However, the employer may also be liable if they reasonably should have known of a problem. This is harder to prove, but still possible based on multiple lines of reasoning with a jury. 

2. Violence From a Customer

As with inter-employee violence, customer violence toward employees can be linked to negligence in providing a safe work environment. If you work in a dangerous area or have to work nights, for instance, the employer may be negligent if they fail to take appropriate security steps based on these unique circumstances. 

Of course, no employer can protect their workers from every possible contingency involving the public. An employer can take all reasonable security measures and still end up with a random shooting or customer tussle at their store. If there is no provable negligence, that employer may not be held financially responsible. 

3. Violence at a Remote Location

What if the violence happens outside the workplace? In fact, an employee's workplace is generally anywhere they're required to be within the scope of their job function. So, a delivery driver assaulted at a customer's home is protected just as though they were in the store. 

This can even be true if you have detoured from your assigned route. If you stop for lunch in a dangerous part of the city while making sales calls and are mugged, the employer may still be liable even though they didn't send you directly to the restaurant. 

Where to Learn More

Clearly, the nuances in personal injury and employment law can be complex. Find out how they affect you and what you can do to protect yourself by meeting with a personal injury attorney in your state today.