• Compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and similar state laws, may contribute positively to reduction of the risk of workplace violence.
  • Many state courts have ruled that an employer is liable for the dangerous acts of employees if such harm was foreseeable. The employer must use reasonable care in hiring, training, supervising and retaining employees.
  • Case law in some jurisdictions suggests that the employer may be liable for the negligent acts of independent contractors, where such contractors are incompetent, negligently selected, or engaged in abnormally dangerous activities.
  • Under both federal and state statutes, the employer may be liable for failure to intervene in situations of harassment of employees by supervisors or management, and in situations involving coworkers where the employer was aware of the harassment.
  • The employer may be liable for the acts of an employee who is intoxicated or otherwise a risk to others, if the employer exercises control over the employee and is negligent in exercising that control.
  • Employers are expected to use reasonable security precautions and other measures to minimize the risk of foreseeable criminal intrusion (based upon the prior experience of the employer, its location in a dangerous area, or industry victimization base rates).
  • Employers should be cautious about reducing the level of security because of financial pressures. To avoid or reduce liability the employer should first assess whether the level of security risk justifies reducing security measures.


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