Workplace Violence: An Unfortunate Subject
Wisconsin Supreme Court Finds No Insurance Coverage for Employers Sued for Negligent Supervision of Employees Committing Assault. Wisconsin Supreme Court Finds No Insurance Coverage for Employers Sued for Negligent Supervision of Employees Committing Assault.
You are a business owner. Imagine learning that one of your employees has assaulted someone—a customer, vendor, fellow employee, or even a random stranger—while on the job. Such a situation presents obvious business concerns. It also presents legal risk. Even though the employee’s actions were likely outside the course of his or her employment—and, therefore, unlikely to generate liability on a vicarious liability theory—YOU can be sued for “negligence in supervising” or for simply hiring the employee who committed the assault.
The “you can be sued” part is what is painful here. Not only are you likely to be negligent as previously stated, but the costs one could incur in defense—not to mention the time taken away from running your business—is the problem. We know your General Liability policy will likely not respond, so what CAN you do?
The insurance industry can’t help you with the possibility of your company being sued under any circumstances, but we can help in another way. There are policies called “Workplace Violence Expense Insurance”. This is not for Liability, but rather to assist employers like you with expenses such as:
- Crisis mental health specialists
- Victim employees’ salaries and replacement employees’ salaries
- Medical, cosmetic, mental health, and dental expenses of victims; rest and rehabilitation for insured persons and their relatives.
- Loss of your business income.
- Public relations consultants.
These policies typically cost around $1,000/year for a firm with less than $30,000,000 in revenue— give or take. The Starr Group wants to make sure business owners like you are aware of this increasingly important coverage.
May the history of your company remain free of violence!!
Tim Starr, CIC, CRM, CRIS, CWCA, AB; Owner & CEO, The Starr Group
OSHA defines Workplace Violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicides. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors.”