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Understanding Your Liabilities as an Employer for Workplace Assaults

  • Workplace assaults refer to any unauthorized intentional and unwanted physical contact or threatening behavior that results in physical or emotional harm.
  • Employers may be liable for compensating the injured employee, covering their medical bills, and paying other damages.
  • Employers must implement a zero-tolerance policy for violent behavior and harassment in the workplace.
  • Employers should conduct pre-employment screening and maintain open communication channels to help prevent workplace assaults.
  • Regular training sessions can help employees identify warning signs of violence and aggression.

As an employer or business owner, you are responsible for ensuring your employees’ safety in the workplace. Unfortunately, violence and assault can happen in any workplace, leaving employers scrambling to understand their legal obligations and liabilities.

Workplace assaults can not only lead to physical and emotional trauma suffered by employees, but they can also result in severe consequences for employers. Here’s what you need to know about your liabilities as an employer for workplace assaults and how to protect your business and employees.

What is Considered Workplace Assault?

Workplace assault can manifest in different ways, from physical harm to emotional abuse, such as verbal harassment or bullying. Therefore, it is essential to define what constitutes workplace assault.

According to many legal systems, workplace assault refers to any unauthorized intentional and unwanted physical contact or threatening behavior that results in physical or emotional harm. This can include hitting, slapping, choking, sexual assault, or other forms of violence inflicted by an employee, customer, or third party.

Legal Liabilities for Employers

female boss talking to her employee serious face

As an employer, you are responsible for providing a safe working environment for your employees. If a workplace assault occurs, you may be liable for failing to fulfill that obligation. Your legal liabilities can vary depending on factors such as the severity of the assault, your level of negligence, and the available evidence.

Employers can often be held liable for compensating the injured employee, covering their medical bills, and paying other damages such as lost wages or emotional distress. However, you can also provide both parties equal and fair legal support by providing lawyers to help them navigate the legal system.

In this case, the accused may need a criminal lawyer specializing in assault charges. A criminal lawyer can help the accused understand and protect their rights, while the injured party may need a personal injury lawyer. You can learn more about their legal obligations by visiting This will help protect your business from any legal repercussions from workplace assaults.

Preventative Measures for Employers

It’s pretty alarming how often workplace assaults occur in different organizations, and it’s the responsibility of employers to ensure that their employees are safe. For this reason, employers must implement measures to help prevent workplace assaults to protect their staff and foster a secure environment. Here are some preventative tips employers can utilize to ensure that their workplace is free from violence and that employees’ safety is guaranteed.

Implement a Zero Tolerance Policy

Employers must set guidelines for expected employee behavior and ensure they are strictly followed. This can be done through implementing a zero-tolerance policy for violent conduct and harassment in the workplace. Employees must be made aware of the company policy, which outlines acceptable behavioral standards, and the consequence of violating the policy.

Conduct Pre-Employment Screening

Employers should carry out a thorough pre-employment screening. This allows employers to get to know their potential employees better and may help to identify previous acts of violence or aggression while verifying their work history, qualifications, and criminal records. Pre-employment screening is vital for identifying individuals that may pose a risk to the organization and thus prevent hiring them.

Maintain Open Communication Channels

a group of employees during discussions

Open communication between employees, managers, and the human resources team can help prevent violent scenarios. Employers can create channels for employees to voice their concerns and grievances in a safe and secure environment. Additionally, the company can establish an anonymous reporting option for employees to report incidences of harassment or violence in the workplace.

Conduct Regular Training

Employers can organize regular training for their employees on preventing workplace violence. These training sessions can teach employees how to identify and handle potential situations before they escalate into physical harm. The training can also help employees identify the warning signs of violence and aggression.

Final Thoughts

As an employer, it is crucial to take workplace assaults seriously and take proactive measures to prevent them from happening. You can protect your business and employees from harm by understanding your legal liabilities, taking preventative measures, and responding promptly and appropriately to incidents. As with any safety issue, prevention is critical to creating a safe and productive work environment. By prioritizing your employees’ well-being and safety, you can create a culture of trust and respect that benefits everyone in your organization.

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