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Does California workers’ compensation cover workplace violence?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Workplace violence is a critical concern in California, covering a range of aggressive behaviors that can threaten the safety and well-being of employees. Even though employers attempt to implement preventive measures, their efforts may not be enough to stop those are desperate for food and money. Unfortunately, employees suffer the most.

The impact of such violence can be devastating, not only to the individuals directly involved but also to the overall morale and productivity of a workplace. When workplace violence occurs, it is imperative for employees to know their rights, especially concerning workers’ compensation. In California, workers’ compensation may cover expenses related to injuries resulting from violence in the workplace, but under certain conditions.

When workers’ comp applies to cases of workplace violence

It is important to note that the specifics of any workers’ compensation claim can be complex. Workers who have been victims of workplace violence should report the incident to their employer immediately and seek legal advice to understand their rights and the benefits they may be eligible to receive under California law. Employees may obtain workers’ compensation for injuries they suffered due to workplace violence when:

  • The incident occurred in the workplace or during work-related activities.
  • The employee was performing their job duties at the time of the violent act.
  • The violence was related to the employee’s work or position within the company.
  • The attack was perpetrated by a co-worker, customer or other person related to the job.

A valid work injury is any injury or illness an employee suffers because of their job, but violence complicates matters. You see, even though the violence occurred in the workplace, workers’ compensation may not cover it when personal matters are involved. An employee may not recover benefits under the following circumstances:

  • The altercation was a result of a personal dispute not connected to the employee’s job.
  • The employee was off the clock or not engaged in work-related duties when the incident took place.
  • The employee provoked the violence or was participating in illegal activities at the time.

Employees must go to work to earn an honest living. Violence is not a part of the job description. When their work puts them in harm’s way, they have all the right to receive compensation for their injuries.