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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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Hello. At work last Sunday a co-worker pushed me into a closet

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Hello. At work last Sunday a co-worker pushed me into a closet and attempted to rape me, I was lucky enough to be able to fight him off and escape. He did not penetrate me. He left the premisses immediately following the attack. I followed protocol and reported it to supervisors and police. Have filled protective orders and called local Rape Crisis Center. During the investigation it came out that he had produced a knife and threatened another female employee about an hour before he attacked me. She looked up toward the camera and he walked away laughing about just kidding around. Work by the way is a Juvenille Residential treatment facility with 12-18 year old boys and girls owned by Sheppard-Pratt Health Systems. I have just found out that he was terminated because of the knife and police are most likely pursuing charges based on the knife incident because it was on camera and his attempted rape of me was not. It has also been opened up that there have been several other reports of abuse against women that this man has gotten away with, six months ago there was even a report of sexual abuse filed by one of the female residents at our facility, but during the investigation she recanted and it was dropped. There was enough of a threat that the company did sanction him saying that he could not be near any female resident. I want to know why they allowed him to work around us. I have filed countless reports this whole week retold this to at least 10 different law enforcement or management personel including the VP of HR for our company, and no one has yet to take a picture of the bruises on my hips from where he pushed me into a counter so hard as he bent me over and held me there. I have not been offered any type of paid time off or work mans comp. I tried to work last night but after about three hours i just couldn't be there. So here is my question I guess, This person was hired even though there were allegations in his past or he acquired them in his time there, I feel like this never would have happened to me if he wouldn't have been allowed to remain employed there. What are the corporations liabilities in this. I haven't even gotten a phone call to see if i'm okay.
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the facts you've described. Have you gone to HR to file for workers comp and ask to be evaluated by one of their doctors?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I met with Corporate VP of HR on Tuesday it was not offered. When I spoke to my supervisor at a meeting yesterday I asked her about what could be done but all she said was she knew that I was able to apply for FMLA, thats great but all FMLA does is protect your employment status. She directed me to speak to our facilities HR person but I have been told to speak to no-one about this so how can I speak to her. This company just pushes thing under the rug as it is.

Have you met with your personal doctor?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Have been concerned with trying to get this person off the street and away from me. He has a history of accusations of violence against women. Am planning on going to hospital in the morning at the advise of Rape Crisis center. I never thought to go to doctor or hospital because he didnt get it in me, and I feel like everyone has minimized this because he didn't "actually" rape me. The on staff nurses at our facility had me come in and fill out a report but they didn't offer to check me or suggest that I go to the hospital. I've never been through this so I am having to try to figure it out on my own.

I understand. If you have a personal primary care doctor, you should go and see that person. You can also ask HR to set you up with an EAP counselor, if your employer has an EAP program (employee assistance) or some type of counselor. If you are not able to work because of this experience, then you need to tell HR that you need to make a workers compensation claim. Don't wait for them. You need to tell them what you need.

Separately, you may want to contact a local employment attorney. Maryland recognizes what's called a negligent hiring type of lawsuit. In order to establish a claim for negligent hiring or retention, a
plaintiff must prove that the employer of the individual who committed the allegedly tortious act owed a duty to the plaintiff, that the employer breached that duty, that there was a causal relationship between the harm
suffered and the breach of the employer’s duty, and that the plaintiff suffered damages. See Cramer v. Housing Opportunities Com., 304 Md. 705, 712-713 (Md. 1985).

The Maryland courts have previously decided that workers compensation does not keep a person from suing for negligent hiring. Gasper v. RUFFIN HOTEL, 960 A. 2d 1228 - Md: Court of Special Appeals 2008. So, could the employer be liable for negligent hiring? That claim is possible under Maryland law.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would this be a TORTS case? I guess I'm wondering if is this something that Lawyers do with out a retainer being needed because they get compensated in the end.

Yes, negligent hiring is a tort. Negligence is a tort claim. Each lawyer is different. Some will charge a fee up front, others will take it on a contingency basis.

~~ J.B.
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