New York City Workplace Assault Attorneys
Workers’ Compensation for Victims of Workplace Assault
Assault in the workplace is generally compensable the same way accidents are as long as the assault was motivated by something job-related. In fact, even assaults that occur off of the employer’s premises may be compensable if they originate from a workplace conflict.
Whether an assault is compensable is often a very fact-specific question that requires the attention of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. At Schotter Millican, our New York City workplace assault attorneys can review your case at no cost and inform you of your legal options.
We have extensive experience in workers’ compensation law and are known for handling highly complex cases other law firms won’t touch. We are proud of our long history of serving injured workers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the surrounding communities. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you with your claim.
On This Page:
- How Common is Workplace Assault?
- Who is Most at Risk of Workplace Violence?
- How Can Workplace Assault Be Prevented?
- Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation After a Work-Related Assault?
- Workplace Harassment
- Protecting Your Rights Throughout the Legal Process
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” This includes physical and verbal assault, threats, abuse, and even homicide.
Shockingly, OSHA reports that workplace violence is the third-leading cause of fatal work-related injuries in the U.S. In 2019, more than 700 workers died in the U.S. as a result of an intentional injury inflicted by another person. Sadly, because many instances of workplace violence and assault go unreported, the real number of workers injured or killed due to workplace violence each year is likely higher.
Workers across all industries face the threat of workplace violence and assault. However, certain factors increase the likelihood that an employee will become the victim of a work-related assault.
According to OSHA, these factors include:
- Exchanging money with customers/the public
- Working with unpredictable and/or volatile individuals
- Serving or providing alcohol to patrons
- Working in an establishment that serves or provides alcohol
- Isolated working environments or working alone
- Working in an area with high crime rates
- Working at night
OSHA has also identified certain types of workers who may be more at risk of workplace violence, based on these factors, including but not limited to:
- Point-of-service salespeople
- Money handlers
- Service industry professionals
- Customer service agents
- Delivery drivers
- Healthcare workers
- Airline workers
- Law enforcement officers
- First responders
- Public service professionals
While these workers may be at a greater risk of workplace assault, anyone can be injured due to the intentional wrongful acts of another.
There are many steps employers (and employees) can take to prevent workplace violence and assault. Employers should enact a zero-tolerance policy for any type of workplace violence.
This includes acts of violence and assault by coworkers, supervisors, contractors, suppliers, customers, clients, patients, visitors, maintenance crews, and any other person who comes into contact with the workplace’s personnel. Strict anti-violence policies can help limit instances of workplace assault, as well as provide proper guidelines for disciplining employees who violate company policy and/or taking action against others who intentionally harm workers.
Employers can also install adequate security measures—such as security cameras, security guards, and lights—to help keep workers safe. Unfortunately, these measures do not always ensure that employees will not become victims of workplace or work-related violence.
Whether an assault occurs at the workplace or outside of work due to job-related conflicts, the injured employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured to the point of needing medical treatment and/or being unable to work. For an instance of workplace violence to be compensable under the state’s workers’ compensation laws, the employee will need to prove that the assault was somehow work-related.
Our New York City workplace assault lawyers can help you determine whether you have a case during a complimentary consultation. We strive to provide injured workers with the information they need to protect themselves. Even if you choose not to work with our firm, we want to make sure that you know your rights so that you can make empowered decisions moving forward.
If you are eligible, you can receive the following workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace assault or similar act of workplace violence:
- Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation pays for all medical expenses deemed “necessary and reasonable” following a work-related injury. This includes hospital and ambulance fees, prescription medication costs, surgery, rehabilitation, post-op treatment, aftercare, and more.
- Temporary Disability: Workers who are unable to return to work due to their injuries can receive wage replacement for temporary partial or total disability in the amount of 2/3 their average weekly wage.
- Permanent Disability: When an injury leaves a worker permanently unable to return to work, whether at their old job or a new one, they could qualify for permanent partial or total disability benefits under the New York workers’ compensation system.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: In some cases, injured workers may qualify for vocational rehabilitation benefits. These benefits help with costs related to job retraining, education, and reentry into the workforce.
- Death Benefits: Surviving spouses, partners, children, and other family members may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits when their loved one dies due to a work-related accident or injury, including those resulting from workplace violence.
Fighting for workers' compensation can seem like a very complicated process, but it doesn't have to be! When you work with a skilled lawyer, like those at Schotter Millican, the process can be far less challenging. We encourage you to reach out to our firm right away if you were injured or if your loved one tragically died due to workplace violence.
Harassment is considered a form of violence, and it's illegal. In the workplace, it may take the form of personal insults, jokes, or incidents involving intolerance or disgust toward a protected class. Under federal law, these classes include race, age, sex, religion, national origin, color, or disability.
These are three common forms of workplace harassment:
- Verbal/Written - Email is frequently abused form of communication. Fortunately, it tends to be the easiest form to keep record of. Verbal harassment, on the other hand, while possibly much more common, is quite a bit more difficult to prove.
- Visual - Subjecting someone to violent, derogatory, or sexual images is another form of harassment. This one can be more subjective, because while the intention may be humorous, some hostility may also lay behind it.
- Physical - Touching and physical intimidation (for example, standing too close to someone with the intent to scare them) are unacceptable in the workplace.
If you were injured at work or in a work-related incident, it is important that you report the injury to your employer within 30 days. Time is critical in these cases, so do not delay. You should also seek immediate medical attention and follow all of your doctor’s recommendations after the incident.
Your employer will likely order an independent medical examination (IME) to confirm your injuries. These examinations are anything but “independent.” In fact, IMEs are often used to justify insurance companies’ denials of rightful workers’ compensation claims. At Schotter Millican, we have a team of professional videographers on staff who accompany our clients at their IMEs to ensure workers’ compensation doctors remain honest. We offer this service at no additional cost to our clients simply because we believe in protecting workers’ rights.
If you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim after a workplace assault or similar act of work-related violence, get in touch with Schotter Millican right away. We can inform you of your legal rights and options during a complimentary case review.
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