I wanted to know if I could file a lawsuit against my company due to an ex-employee threatening me at work?

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I wanted to know if I could file a lawsuit against my company due to an ex-employee threatening me at work?

An ex-employee was allowed onto secure premises and into the office which both require a 4-digit access code. He was verbally abusive (cursing at me), threatened me and warned me to watch my back. This was witnessed by 3 other individuals and I filed a complaint with HR. I don’t feel safe in my work environment and now worry about the threat to watch my back.

Asked on August 26, 2011 Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you are referring to here is an employer's duty to provide a safe work environment.  The duty can be express but it is often implied.  That duty is to protect the employee from the criminal acts of third parties.  It has to be proven that the employer assumed a liability or that there was an implied presumption and then that there was a breach of the duty of reasonable care.  Now, the employer must also know that the employee is a threat.  It has to be a known threat that they are protecting employees against.  And there has to be damages to an employee - most often physical damage.  It is unclear that you have any damages for which you can be compensated here or if these facts fit in to the mod necessary for suit.  Seek consultation from an attorney in your area.  Good luck.


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