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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33929
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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Hello, A co-worker threatened to punch me in the throat

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Hello,

A co-worker threatened to punch me in the throat twice. Once was in front of a co-worker. I ended up leaving my job because I felt unsafe working there. Can this person or the company be sued? I just left the job on September 13, 2013 and still unemployed.

Thank you,
Randy
XXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

Did you report this to the employer prior to leaving?

Dwayne B. :

Also, did the actually do anything other than threaten?

Customer:

Hello, and thanks for replying! No, I did not report it until today. When I turned in my resignation, I believe I put down that I was leaving because of a few remarks from co-workers. I never mentioned that he threatened to punch me in the throat until today. One of the HR people left me a voice mail wanting to know who it was, but I have not called back yet. He did say that at least twice and once in front of someone. No, all he did was threaten. He is bigger than I am and I did not want to return after the 2nd remark.

Dwayne B. :

You wouldn't be able to sue the employer.

Customer:

Ok. I wasnt sure.

Dwayne B. :

You could, theoretically, sue the employee for the threat but if you didn't report it to anyone and try other ways to handle the situation then it may be hard to get a court to award damages.

Dwayne B. :

The court could say that you failed to mitigate the damages by failing to report it to the police, the employer, etc.

Dwayne B. :

I don't think that is likely, but it is possible.

Customer:

No, I didn't report it because he may have actually done it if I did. But he did mention it in front of someone.

Dwayne B. :

I think you could sue the employee and succeed but I'm not sure how the court would calculate the damages.

Customer:

Ok. If you think of anything else, feel free to let me know. I am really upset over this situation, but what can you do.

Customer:

Have a good evening.

Dwayne B. :

And you would probably have to represent yourself or spend a lot of money up front on attorney's fees. In addition, this isn't the kind of case where you can recover attorney's fees as an element of damages.

Customer:

I see.

Dwayne B. :

I will think on it and if I come up with anything else I'll let you know. You can, of course, report the threats to the police.

Customer:

I don't think it's necessary to contact the police since I never dealt with him outside of the office, but will keep that in mind if anything happens.

Dwayne B. :

Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work.

Dwayne B. :

I'll exit now to assist others but I will keep mulling this over.

Customer:

Ok. Have a good evening and thanks for the quick reply.

Dwayne B. :

You're very welcome.

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