If you sustain an injury on the job that affects your ability to work, you can typically rest easy knowing that your workers’ compensation benefits will cover your medical costs and lost wages. It is common knowledge that these benefits apply to injuries resulting from an accident, but it might be unclear how workers’ compensation pertains to injuries caused by intentional workplace violence.
If you are a victim of workplace violence or harassment, you have the right to seek justice and pursue compensation. By understanding the role workers’ compensation benefits can play in your claim process, you can make the best decision toward securing a favorable outcome.
What Constitutes Workplace Violence?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” The common perception of workplace violence is of a malicious individual harassing his or her peers, but there are cases in which an individual unaffiliated with the company can also be guilty of workplace harassment.
Can You Receive Workers' Compensation for Workplace Violence?
Your employer is responsible for maintaining a safe workplace for all workers, and your workers’ compensation benefits are an extension of that commitment. Instances of workplace violence, therefore, can be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim that covers any physical or mental damages you incur due to the actions of an abuser. Keep in mind that workers’ compensation may only apply if the attack is truly work-related, such as when an abuser’s motivation stems from job circumstances and not a personal grudge.
Many incidents of workplace violence fall under the coverage provided by workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to always notify your employer of a workplace injury of any kind to begin the process.