If I was physically assaulted at work by a co-worker, what are my rights?

There was a verbal dispute and as I was walking away, I was struck in the back of the head. I went home and was told to contact my supervisor. When

contacted, I was told that both the other employee and myself would still be

keeping our jobs. I’m just wondering if I have any options. Do I have to continue to work in that environment?

Asked on November 6, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

With respect to your employer, under the circumstances you have no legal claim since an employer is not responsible for the actions of an employee unless that person was acting on the company's behalf. Basically, your only recourse here would be for you to quit. That all having been said, you can file a criminal complaint against this co-worker for assaut, as well as sue them in civil court for physical injuries, psychological damages, or both.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can of course quit, but if you do, it will be a voluntary separation from employment and you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
What you can and should do is file a police report and look to press assault charges against the co-worer: what he or she did is a crime.

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