In Connecticut, workers’ compensation covers most employees. It exclusively treats those who suffer injuries while on the job or those who develop an occupational disease. Workers’ compensation provides workers with coverage for medical bills, necessary treatments and vocational rehabilitation. When workplace violence is the cause of another employee’s injury, a person may have a choice between a personal injury lawsuit and workers’ compensation coverage.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2017, 18,400 injured victims suffered at the hands of workplace assaults. In general, workers’ compensation can only cover injuries that occur due to risks of employment. If an employee attacks his or her colleague for personal reasons, then workers’ compensation is not usually a recourse. In these cases, the courts may find that there is no connection between the work duties and the injuries.
Employers have a duty to create a safe workplace. Most of the time, people think about physical risks or safety hazards with large equipment when they think about workplace risk. If an employer does not manage the risks of employee violence and does not take measures to reduce the risk, then it may be the business’s liability. When workplace violence is acceptable and when employers do little about it, then the employee may have a case for workers’ compensation.
It is up to the management of the business to develop policies that fight workplace violence. These policies may include mock training exercises, employee training and even a zero-tolerance policy in regards to workplace violence. Under no circumstance should violence or assault ever be acceptable in the workplace.