Please help with assault , workplace violence, & bullying by management

Hello, I need some guidance and possibly representation on a workplace violence, harrassment, bullying, and assault issue. My daughter was physically assaulted at work by a member of the management team. The manager hit her multiple times in the face with a utensil, while other employees and customers observed. She tried to notify other members of higher managment but no one took her calls. So out of fear, she called me and I called the Police. Prior to the police responding, the Owner of the business called my daughter because he saw the incident on a remote camera. When my daughter told him the police were called, he reprimanded her and told her to downplay the incident and lie to the police because the incident may get in the papers and hurt his business. He also told her that if the manager was not allowed to work that it would be my daughters responsibility to find a replacement for the manager. The manager that hit my daughter left the business before the Police arrived and they are currently looking for her. Also, the Owner called my daughter a 2nd time and told her in no uncertain terms, that she was responsible for the entire incident. He offered her no support for the work place violence issue and and did not even come to the business to investigate. I know this sounds trivial, but it is a big issue for me and my family. The manager of the business and the business owner should be held responsible for ensuring a safe working environment. Can you please help? Thank you,

1 answer  |  asked Jul 7, 2015 12:51 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Your daughter may have battery claims against the supervisor who hit her, and possibly the employer who hired her as a manager, especially if the employer knew that the manager had a violent streak. A battery claim can compensate your daughter for the harm done to her by being struck. The amount of compensation will depend on the extent of the harm.

If your daughter reasonably concludes that she cannot work there without risking her safety, and that is a conclusion that reasonable people in her shoes would reach, she may be able to resign and treat her resignation as though she were terminated. That is know as a "constructive discharge," which could let her pursue a claim for a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, and a "resignation for good cause," which would allow her to pursue unemployment compensation benefits.

While your daughter may have legal claims for the harm done to her at the workplace, especially if it happens again, you are almost always better off if she can avoid the harm in the first place. If she thinks that she is in danger by staying there, the job is probably not worth it, even if she is later able to recover money damages in a lawsuit.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Jul 7, 2015 1:08 PM [EST]

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