If you have experienced workplace violence, you may qualify to receive workers’ compensation for the effects of the violence. With violent acts in the workplace becoming sadly commonplace, employees should be aware of their rights.
What Is Workplace Violence?
Workplace violence can range from threats of physical violence to harassment to assaults. Common forms of workplace violence that employees experience include:
- Verbal abuse by customers
- Threats by other employees or customers
- Sexual harassment
- Muggings or robberies
- Physical assault
- Workplace shootings
People who work with the public have a higher risk of experiencing workplace violence. Other factors may increase this risk too: working with money or valuables, working alone, working late at night or early in the morning, working with people who are violent or mentally unstable, and transporting people or goods.
When Is Workers’ Compensation Available for the Effects of Workplace Violence?
In Minnesota, workers’ compensation may be available to you even if a non-employee initiated the workplace violence. To receive benefits, you must be an employee who was injured in the course of and within the scope of your employment.
For example, if a customer punches a counter employee after a disagreement about the price of an item, the employee may qualify for medical benefits and wage loss benefits. The employee was injured in the course of doing his job at the counter, and while he was talking to the customer about a sale, which is within the scope of his employment. However, if the two had a personal disagreement, the employee might have a harder time recovering benefits.
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you may have a personal injury claim against the person who commits the act of workplace violence, especially if it was a non-employee. Talk to a lawyer to learn more about your rights.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury and think you have a personal injury claim too? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.