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  1. #1
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    Aug 2009
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    Default I Was Assaulted at Work - What Are My Rights

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia

    I am a 48 yr. old female. Last night at work, I was assaulted by a male employee. To make a long story short, he ended up calling me some very vulgar names and then slapped me. I have 2 witnesses. I went to the police and filed a report. Will the company I work for have to fire him or will the fire me? What can I do? I do not feel comfortable working at this place as long as he is there. Do I need to get a lawyer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Central Florida
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    Default Re: I Was Assaulted at Work, What Are My Rights

    Why are you worried that you will be fired over this? It is not very often that incidents like this occur unprovoked.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    28,300

    Default Re: I Was Assaulted at Work, What Are My Rights

    the employer is not required to fire either party. Depending on the situation, they might fire either, or both though.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: I Was Assaulted at Work, What Are My Rights

    I am worried I will be fired b/c the manager threatened me and said he would fire me. I told the man's wife that she needed to stop complaining and she went and got her husband, who called me all sorts of names and then slapped me. So you guys are basically saying that it is okay for a man to hit a woman in the workplace? I disagree, I think the guy should have been fired on the spot. I am afraid to go back into work now b/c I am afraid this man will meet me in the parking lot and attack me again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I Was Assaulted at Work, What Are My Rights

    An employer might be stupid NOT to fire someone who slapped another employee, and, if futher crimes or injury should occur, you'd have a shot at a third party liability case against the employeer. But they're not REQUIRED to fire the guy if they don't want to. He committed a crime - police and courts deal with crimes, and you've made the report like you should have and the report will be worked, they just don't often move as fast as an employer COULD if they wanted to.

    If you've got fear, you can ask the court for a restraining order (and you don't even need an attorney) - contact your Clerk of Court for details on how to request such an order (and make sure you get a copy of the police report you filed, the judge will want to see that). HOWEVER, you need to know that IF this request is granted, it basically means the guy might have a hard time going to work without violating the order, and that could put management in a position to have to choose between one of you. It won't matter who was right, or what is fair, so unless you're willing to risk management making the decision about which of you (if either) to keep, then you'll want to think about taking steps to ensure your own safety (like walking to your car with someone else, etc.).
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: I Was Assaulted at Work, What Are My Rights

    Quote Quoting mre0609
    View Post
    I am worried I will be fired b/c the manager threatened me and said he would fire me. I told the man's wife that she needed to stop complaining and she went and got her husband, who called me all sorts of names and then slapped me. So you guys are basically saying that it is okay for a man to hit a woman in the workplace? I disagree, I think the guy should have been fired on the spot. I am afraid to go back into work now b/c I am afraid this man will meet me in the parking lot and attack me again.

    They are on notice, IF you are even touched again by this person, the company is dead meat, any attorney can tell you that, retention of a negligent employee.

    If the company does not immediately fire this person, they are playing dangerous legal games.

    Consult an employment law attorney, although employers are generally responsible for the actions of thier employees, this is within the "course and scope of employment". Assault is not within this doctrine, but there may be the doctrine of "Intentional Tort" where the employer is also liable??

    If you are fired, sign up for unemployment and definitely talk to an employment law attorney. Complaining about being assaulted and then fired would seem to fly in the face of "providing a safe workplace" and an attorney may be able to come up with a valid Cause of Action.

    Best wishes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    15,367

    Default Re: I Was Assaulted at Work, What Are My Rights

    Quote Quoting mre0609
    View Post
    So you guys are basically saying that it is okay for a man to hit a woman in the workplace?
    No one said that. But, no one can possibly tell you what an employer WILL do, only what he MIGHT do. And he MIGHT fire neither of you, fire him, or fire you. There is no way to predict what will happen.

    We also do no know what the witnesses will say or what the employer will believe was the cause of the incident. If they believe that you instigated the situation, they might decide to fire you for creating the situation ... they might also fire him for striking you. No way to say.

    The police will take the report o the assault and pass it on to the prosecutor for evaluation. If the prosecutor decides the matter is worth pursuing, he or she will file charges.

    I disagree, I think the guy should have been fired on the spot.
    That may not be legal nor prudent. There is likely more than one version of events and the employer will want to evaluate the situation and their options. Sending one or both of you home (with pay) would have been the most viable option until the matter has been evaluated.

    I am afraid to go back into work now b/c I am afraid this man will meet me in the parking lot and attack me again.
    As suggested, get a restraining order if you have a valid fear. If you simply do not show up at work, that could be grounds for your termination.

    As suggested, if terminated, seek the opinion of legal counsel.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

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