Violence in the Workplace
Do you feel secure in your workplace? Do you have the appropriate equipment to be safe?
Houston employment lawyers Robert J Wiley, and Kalandra N. Wheeler represent employees who work in dangerous work environments. A variety of laws support employees who actively seek to work in a healthier, safer work environment. The primary employment law for Texans is the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This federal law protects workers from dangerous workplaces.
Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. This can happen inside or outside the physical workplace and ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide, which is one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. However it manifests itself, workplace violence has been a growing concern for employees nationwide.
Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Sadly, many more cases go unreported. Research has identified factors that may increase the risk of violence for some workers at certain worksites. These factors include exchanging money with the public and working with volatile, unstable people. Working alone or in isolated areas may also contribute to the potential for violence, as well as the time of day and the location of the jobsite. This could include working late at night or in areas with high crime rates. Among those with higher-risk are workers who exchange money with public, delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, customer service agents, law enforcement personnel, and those who work alone or in small groups. For example, a cashier working at gas station that is open twenty-four hours a day has a much higher risk of assaulted during late hours if the gas station is located in a crime ridden area. Healthcare professionals dealing with the mentally ill also run the risk of being injured when dealing with unstable patients. These are risk factors that should be considered when addressing the issues of workplace violence.
Sadly, many workers do not complain about violence in the workplace because they are afraid of retaliation. Even worse, these fears are usually well grounded. An employer may retaliate for a number of reasons. Often, employers simply do not want to go through the trouble of dealing with something that may very well make them liable or even garner media attention. However, the more attention that a complaint receives, the more difficult that it becomes for an employer to get away with retaliation.
If you have experienced violence in the workplace, contact us immediately. Generally, we will have you meet with an attorney at our Houston office located by the Galleria. We will discuss your situation and attempt to assess whether you qualify under a workplace safety law. If we can represent you, and you think we are the right lawyers for you, we will sign a retainer agreement. Usually we begin by contacting the employer with a demand letter. But with OSHA having incredibly short deadlines, in some cases there is no option but to immediately file a federal complaint.
Again, if you are (1) working in an unsafe workplace, (2) have experienced retaliation because you decided to speak out about a safety issue at work, or (3) believe that you experienced a form of violence in the work place, please co