Protection at workplace

I work for a company in customer service. The other night I was robbed by a guy who had a robbery note and a gun in a bag. I complied with whatever he wanted, anyway long story short. There is nothing to protect us at customer service as far as a security or even windows we are totally exposed. We have a button to press which opens our cash drawer, this button also alerts management that a robbery is taking place. After pressing the button no management came until after the robber left, which was about 5 to 10 minutes later.Is there any law to protect us as employees. The robber said do not move or talk for 3 minutes after he left or he would come back and shoot me in my head. Is there anything for our protection that this company should provide. It is now scary to go to work but I need my job.

Asked on September 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the company is not affirmatively required to provide protection for you. IF they know of a danger or risk, as they certainly now would, IF you are then later harmed due to their refusal to provide reasonable (not too costly or expensive or difficult/awkward) security measures, you could potentially sue them for compensation; refusing to take reasonable steps to mitigate or alleviate an known or obvous risk can be negligent and can impose liability. But that is after the fact--if you are harmed. There is no requirement that they take steps before hand to prevent the harm from happening; they are free to accept the risk of being sued for being negligent, if they choose to. Since your dependents or estate being able to sue is small or cold comfort if you are killed, if you believe the risk high, seek other employment.

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