Workplace Violence

California Workplace Violence Lawyer

You Deserve to Be Safe at Work in California

Workplace violence can destroy many lives in a matter of seconds. Most instances of workplace violence catch victims and survivors by complete surprise. While there may be some warning signs – a normally bubbly employee who suddenly appears withdrawn or an angry employee who is constantly overheard making threats – many times these signs do not result in significant action by employers or coworkers.

Perhaps this is because no business owner wants to believe that his or her business will be the site of the next headline-grabbing workplace violence incident or perhaps it is because the business owner fears being labeled as intrusive, insensitive, or bigoted for inquiring into a person’s thoughts and plans.

Whatever the reason workplace violence is permitted to occur, there is one thing everyone can agree upon: workers deserve to be safe from workplace violence. Contact the Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring to learn more about your rights.

Forms of Workplace Violence & the Consequences

The term “workplace violence” tends to conjure up images of a lone gunman walking into a business and taking aim at customers and/or former coworkers. People may think of ambulances, SWAT teams, and significant news coverage when they are asked to define “workplace violence.”

While these acts of aggression certainly qualify as workplace violence, the truth is that this term encompasses a range of violent behaviors, such as:

  • Aggressive assaults and batteries (with or without a deadly weapon or other implement;
  • Unwelcome and painful punches, slaps, or physical touching when done with the intent to terrorize or cause fear in the victim;
  • Displays of aggression or threats to commit violence against another person;
  • Sexual assault.

Workplace violence is no laughing matter; it can cause a significant disruption in the productivity of the business, the efficiency and morale of the workforce, and the personal life of the victim. Employees including the victim(s) of workplace violence may miss days from work, resign unexpectedly, or be too frightened to concentrate on their job tasks. Workplace violence is not just carried out against a coworker/victim - it is also an act against the continuity of the business itself.

Should My Employer Do Anything When I Report Violence?

When your employer knows or should know that workplace violence is occurring, he or she has an obligation to take reasonable measures to ensure that you and other employees will be safe at work and that the aggressor is either effectively supervised or is kept from the business premises. If your employer does not take reasonable measures and you are injured or suffer physical and/or mental injuries as a result of the violence, compensation may be available to you.

“Reasonable measures” might include:

  • Transferring you or the aggressor to a different department;
  • Providing counseling services to the aggressor;
  • Requiring that the aggressor be supervised more closely;
  • Implementing security procedures to ensure no weapons are brought into the business;
  • Disciplining or terminating the aggressor;
  • Notifying the police.

Your employer cannot simply “bury his or her head in the sand” and ignore signs of workplace violence. The Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring may be able to assist you. Call my office right away at 916-443-3553 to learn what legal rights and remedies you may have.