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Co-Worker Threats

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  • Co-Worker Threats

    A Co-Worker threaten to physically fight me while holding a glass bottle and verbally attacking me due to information that I provided HR in aid of thier investigation. I informed the manager of the incident. I also told the manager that due to my fear I do not want to work with this employee on any shifts. The manager requested that I make another statement for HR but said that I will have to work with this other employee anyway. What are my rights? What are the employers obligations to avoid such a situation?

    nici323 in california

  • #2
    The first thing you should do is contact your local law enforcement agency. Just because this happened on the job doesn't make it any less criminal.

    The next step is to talk directly with HR and relay the message your supervisor gave you. Remind HR that you provided the info for to assist their investigation and you were physically threatened with a deadly weapon. This should automatically be a terminable offense.

    If that doesn't change the the supervisors decision then speak to your local EEOC office.


    • #3
      This has nothing to do with the EEOC. The EEOC deals with issues of illegal discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability and pregnancy.

      The employer is not required by law to separate the two employees. No law requires an employer to terminate an employee under any circumstances.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


      • #4
        Fear of Reprisal

        And, in answer to your question regarding reprisal by the person who threatened you, you are right to be concerned. That is a question to be raised with the police (or whatever local law enforcement you speak with).

        To me, your employer should be acting on this (though I agree with the previous post, they do not have a legal obligation ender employment law to separate the employes) UNLESS the nature of the investigation of this employee had to do with a situation of sexual harassment or harassment based on race, religion, gender, etc. In that case, it could be seen as illegal retaliation and you have a legal right to protection against retaliation.

        If the situation had nothing to do with illegal discrimination, your employer should still have a concern about liability should something happen to you or to one of your coworkers because of the actions of this employee.

        This type of behavior is indicative of a potential problem with workplace violence, one that could escalate to very dangerous circumstances.

        Good luck. And, if I were you, I would look for employment elsewhere as soon as possible.
        Senior Member
        Last edited by LConnell; 06-18-2005, 08:12 AM.
        Lillian Connell

        Forum Moderator


        • #5
          Co-Worker Threats

          An employer is to provide appropriate remedies for intentional discrimination and unlawful harassment in the workplace, and it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employement including other terms and condintions of employment.

          Since the employee that threaten me included his hatered of my sexual preference among the rest of his vulgur and degrading verbal attacks, Is that discrimination?

          The employer claims it prohibits employees from making threats or any violent acts. They also claim that Workplace Violence is a zero-tolerance policy. If they dont provide any appropriate remedie, can it be interpreted that working with reasonable fear of injury is a condintion of employment?


          • #6

            If his/her actions are because of your sexual orientation, it would be seen as illegal discrimination. Before going to the state, it is critical that you speak with HR or a more senior manager in the workplace. See if they can resolve this matter

            If they do not assist you, it will help you in ensuring that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing will assist you.
            Lillian Connell

            Forum Moderator


            • #7
              Does your place of employment have the equivalent of a Code of Conduct Manual? If this is so, there should be steps in there on how to report such incidents of threatening/harrassing behavior. Also, it should speak about retribution for reporting and/or assisting in the investigation of an alleged incident. A really comprenhensive manual would also outline steps to take if there is no remedy at the local level: i.e.: contact information at the corporate level to report incidents.

              As far as your sexural orientation, again this is left to individual company policy if it is for something such as same sex orientation. There are no provisions in the Title 7 section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (or it's revisions) that incorporates same sex orientation as a protected class. This is left up to individual states and individual companies. My former company did not have such language, but after we were sold to a larger company, it is now included in their Company Policy Manual.

              Also, if you go to Google and type in "Workplace Bullying", you'll get a lot of info - much of it is for outside the U.S., so you'll have to search a little.

              Good Luck!


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