Sexual assaults and abuse in the workplace is nothing new. In fact, sexual assaults at work is a serious problem in workplaces across the U.S. There are 3 common types of sexual assault situations involving the workplace:
- sexual assault by a stranger,
- sexual assault by a co-worker or other member of the workplace, and
- sexual assault by a known assailant, but non-member of the workplace.
Workplace Sexual Assault by a Stranger
Sexual assaults can occur in stores, parking lots, and even offices. Both women and men are at risk. Anyone who works alone or works in isolated areas may be at risk of being sexually assaulted.
In addition, there are certain types of jobs which put workers at risk of violent crimes, such as: store clerks, especially night shift clerks, parking lot attendees, bank employees, and of course, police officers. Learn about workers’ compensation eligibility in work assault cases.
Civil Liability in Cases of Workplace Sexual Assaults by Strangers
Employees who are sexually assaulted by strangers may have valid legal claims and may be able to recover financial compensation for their physical and emotional injuries. Depending on the work accident laws of the state where the assault took place, an employee may be able to bring claims against the employer, the franchise company, and other contractors.
Related: Rights of Assault & Sexual Assault Victims in PA – A Brief Overview
Example 1 – A fast food employee is sexually assaulted while taking out trash. Depending on the contractual agreement between the owner of the local fast food restaurant and the larger franchise company, the franchise may be held liable. If, for example, the contract between the local owner and larger franchise prevented the installation of cameras and/or lighting near the trash area behind the building, the franchise may be liable.
Example 2 – A night clerk is sexually assaulted while walking to her car after work. Here, a parking lot security company may be held liable for negligence in preventing the assault. The key is proving that the security company had knowledge of the danger at some time before the assault, but failed to take appropriate and reasonable action. It is important to investigate whether other individuals had been attacked in the days, weeks and months before the attack at issue. Read more: Shopping Mall Liability for Criminal Conduct, Shootings & Assaults
Financial Recovery in a Sexual Assault Case
Victims of sexual assault at work may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Victims of sexual assault and abuse may be able to obtain financial recovery for the physical and mental/emotional pain and suffering they endured. In addition, they may be able to obtain financial recovery for future expenses, including medical and psychological treatment.
Please contact our sex assault lawyers for a free consultation. Firm founder, Brian Kent, is a former assistant prosecutor who handled criminal sex assault and abuse cases in Montgomery County, PA. He now represents sex assault victims in civil cases. Click To Call
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