I want to know if an employee makes a threat of going on a rampage and killing everyone in the workplace, what action is my employer supposed to take?

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I want to know if an employee makes a threat of going on a rampage and killing everyone in the workplace, what action is my employer supposed to take?

I reported the incident to my employer and also the owner of my workplace. I told them we need to make a police report,because is is to be taken seriously. He said oh we talked to her, she is fine and no threat. What can I do?

Asked on September 11, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Note that if your employer retaliates against you for making the report, you would have a good defense if you reasonable believed it was a credible threat; employers should not retaliate against employees for reporting actual or potential criminal acts. Obviously, reporting a matter to the police is not done lightly, but you must be guided by your sense of the credibility of the threat. If you do report and suffer any actual or threatened consequences, consult with an employment attorney.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can--and should!--report the matter to the police yourself. You don't need to leave the matter in your employer's hands, if you believe this a serious threat; nothing requires employees to only report matters like this to their employers, though they should tell their employers, as you have done.

There is law requiring your employer to report this to the police. But if they had warning and do nothing, and the employee does go on a rampage, they--the employer--but almost certainly be liable for the injuries, damage, and death (if any) she causes, since in that case, they would be negligent. If there is any chance of this occuring, it is unwise for your employer to not take it seriously.


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