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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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There was a physical altercation between two employees on the

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There was a physical altercation between two employees on the job. As soon as the manager found out, the altercation was stopped. Both employees were given first aid and sent home. One resigned before she could be terminated and the other was terminated for cause. Both of them had minor injuries - scratch, bruises, and one of them had a sprained shoulder, for which she was treated. She was advised to file workers comp claim, she refused, but the company reported the incident anyways. Workers comp denied liability stating that the act was "outside the scope" of employment because the altercation had nothing to do with what was required on the job. The terminated employee is arguing negligent supervision and retention - the employer should've seen the fight coming because the employee had complained to the management before. She had complained but it was not about any specific people or violence/threat at work. In this context, is the employer liable for anything?
No, the employer would probably not be found liable for the employee's injuries since the complaints didn't reference a specific employee and did not relate to violence or any threat at work.

In order for the employer to be liable the employer would have needed to be in a position where it knew (or reasonably should have known) about the employee's violent tendencies in order for the employer to be liable for negligent supervision and retention.
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