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Thread: Verbal Assault/threatening to kill-Illinois

  1. #1
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    Default Verbal Assault/threatening to kill-Illinois

    I do promotions for drink company, and I demo product at large corporate big box store. We are advised to give free samples to store employees, which is not a problem. Today, an employee kept coming back for free samples, and the third time he came back, he was very condescending about the free samples. Mind you, this was the third time today I had given him a sample. By the fourth time he came around, my co-worker was there helping me, and I tried to apologize about my shortness earlier in the day. He then, in front of customers, my co-worker, and his co-worker, he began to verbally threaten to kill me, to kick my f*****g a**, to rip my f******g head off, the whole nine yards. I tried settling him down at first, then when I realized it was doing no good, I shut up and let him talk. He had to be physically restrained by his coworker, and my coworker. I turned around and starting talking to customers, and he left. All of this was caught on videotape. I was told I would not be able to work at this location anymore due to this. That is going to cost me quite a lot of money, as this is a popular location that I can move my product easily and get bonuses from my company.

    The question I have is what should I do? Should I call the cops for assault? I am very concerned that this guy will come after me again, but it's not fair if I did nothing wrong, and I am paying the price by having to go to a smaller volume store. This was an employee of a corporate retail location threating to kill somebody while on the clock, in front of co-workers and customers.

    What legal recourse do I have? Please advise. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Does your company have an HR department?

  3. #3
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    If I understand correctly you aren't an employee of the store where this happened but are a vendor who was using this site for a sales promotion. You can't make the employer fire him, and if they want to prohibit you from setting up there they can. I would however contact the management at this store, or district office and report the employee's behavior. Depending upon how your company is affiliated with the store, you might also approach your company with what happened. Those higher up the food chain and not emotionally involved may have more sway.

    If you feel the threats are credible you can go to the police but I wouldn't expect too much to come of it.

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    My company does have an HR department, I will be letting them know.

    An interesting thought came last night....the warehouse my company promotes at is a huge account. When I informed my boss of the situation last night, he became accusatory with me, thinking I was instigating this. Is the anything I can do if my company lets me go? I would imagine that would be ground for a lawsuit.

    Thanks for everybody's help.

  5. #5
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    I would definitely file a police report. Don't mess around when it comes to threats on your life. Even if 99.9% of the time such threats are not serious, you don't want to be in the lucky 0.1%.

    Then you can always send a letter explaining the incident along with a copy of the police report to the store's management. Hopefully they will get rid of him (although you have no say in the matter). Most sensible managers would not want to keep an employee who threatened someone's life, with witnesses and video to back it up. They have to worry about their own liability if this guy goes ahead and hurts you or anyone else. What if I'm a customer there in 6 months and the guys attacks me? I will certainly find out about your incident, sue them for knowlingly keeping a dangerous person on staff, and probably get a big settlement. So in the interest of justice, I would certainly report to the police and let him pay the consequences.

    How will you feel if this guy goes and harms or kills the next person who ticks him off? Could you sleep with knowing you didn't at least report him to the police?

    Unfortunately, doing the right thing may mess things up for you in your job. Alienating a big customer could cause your employer to fire you, and it would probably be legal. Although you might want to look to see if your state has any whistleblower statutes like my state (NJ). Our whistleblower law here is so broad (and getting interpreted more & more broadly) that reporting anything that you even think is against the law earns you whistleblower protections against getting fired.

    Still your personal safety is more important that your job. You can always get another job...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMM View Post
    My company does have an HR department, I will be letting them know.

    An interesting thought came last night....the warehouse my company promotes at is a huge account. When I informed my boss of the situation last night, he became accusatory with me, thinking I was instigating this. Is the anything I can do if my company lets me go? I would imagine that would be ground for a lawsuit.

    Thanks for everybody's help.
    No it is not grounds for a lawsuit. You can be fired for instigating the argument or them believing you had some role in this. There are no laws that would prvent them firing you for not handling the situation the way they would prefer or being banned from a customer's location.

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    Actually, anytime you present the company you work for while "flying the company banner" - I am guessing you were behind a table or display wearing a company shirt... and getting into a verbal shouting match with an employee...you are making a "career limiting decision".

    Nobody gets that mad without some instigation from you. I doubt you were standing there as a halo appeared and angels sang.

    Besides, what's it to you how many samples the employee has? It isn't like you are paying for it.

    You got petty. He got mad... And you both did it in front of the public. Personally, I think you both should be canned for your behavior.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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    Or maybe the guy just has a short fuse. Some people are like that.

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    My suggestion is to take some martial arts courses. Not just one or two, actually learn how to defend yourself & kick some butt and not get hurt yourself.

    Then the next time that guy does this, kick his *** good. You might lose your job, but you'll have the respect of a lot of people around you. He just needs to be taught a lesson, is all.

    IMNSHO.
    I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
    Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
    I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
    Don't worry, be happy.

    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

  10. #10
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    And get yourself arrested for assault at the same time......

  11. #11
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    True. I don't know Illinois laws. I would think a cop may overlook it. Woman, verbally abused by a man much bigger than she? I would think the cop would get a kick out of it and leave her alone.
    I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
    Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
    I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
    Don't worry, be happy.

    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

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