What to do if the owner’s stepson threatened meand nothing is being done?

I got into an argument with the owner’s stepson, which is also employed by the company. There’s an HR department, but it is non-existent when it comes to family members, and their actions. It went from him, threatening to kick my ass, to him saying that he should get a gun and shoot me. An HR worker told me that she’d get in trouble if she did what she should do. The owner of the company replied to the incident as we were being childish and not mature. While this is apparently the company’s solution, I still don’t feel safe working there now.

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) You have legal recourse, in that if you have been threatened as you say, you can press charges against him, seek a protective order, and possibly even sue him for making terroristic threats or harassing you.

2) However, the law does not require the company to take action when employee A threatens or has a conflict with employee B; a company is allowed to not do anything and leave the employees as they were.

3) However, the above said, the company *should* do something, since if anything does happen--e.g. you are attacked or injured--you could hold the company liable for negligent supervision, since they had warning but wrongfully failed to act. This is therefore a situation where you cannot proactively make the company take steps, but you can hold them liable after the fact.


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