Can I sue my employer?
UPDATED: May 29, 2012
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Can I sue my employer?
I was assaulted at work by another employee; I work at an ice cream chain. I was hit twice in the face, spit on and called a faggot. I called the cops and they were charged with simple assault. After, I was told by the manager that I should not have called the cops. He then bailed them out of jail and kept them employed. Now he is offering me money to not continue with this complaint. What should I do? I’ve been trying to get a hold of somebody in a corparate office but I am having trouble finding them.
Asked on May 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, South Dakota
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 10 years ago | Contributor
IF this employee had a history of assaulting others or had previously threatened you and the employer had kept him on and that led to your assault, you could probably sue for negligent supervison.
Or if after this incident, the employee again attacks you after the employer clearly has notice of the threat he poses but did nothing to correct the situation or protect you, you could again likely sue for negligent supervision.
However, if this attack was a one-time thing, your employer would not be liable: an employer is not responsible for the criminal actions of its employees outside the scope of their employment (and attacking you was not part of this person's job description), unless there was some warning or notice that an attack or other criminal act was likely and, armed with said notice, the employer nonetheless failed to take reasonable steps to avoid the attack.
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