Assault in the workplace can vary from incidents of physical violence to serious instances of harassment, threats, stalking and intimidation. Assault charges also include more extreme events such as shootings and bombings in the workplace. Every employee should know how to report an assault in the workplace. Here's how.
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Determine whether you want to handle the assault as a criminal act or as an internal matter. If you feel an imminent threat, call the police. Dial 911 before you notify your supervisor if pursuing the assault as a criminal matter.
Report the assault incident to your supervisor or other responsible party (for instance, a human resources representative), including where it happened and under what circumstances. If the assailant was another employee, your company must take appropriate action.
Call company security to deal with the assailant if your workplace is equipped with a security team. Security officials will usually be able to reach the scene faster than the police can. Security will subdue the assailant and either escort him from the premises or hand him over to the authorities.
If you've suffered injuries, go to the hospital to be examined. Doctors have special procedures to scan hair, skin and fluids--evidence that can be used to strengthen your case.
Work with a union official or a health and safety adviser after you report an assault in the workplace. You can also call the National Sexual Assault hotline (see Resources below) for assaults of a sexual nature.
Follow up by asking your supervisor or human resources department what measures have been taken against the assailant. Find out from the police whether the assailant is in custody. As an assault victim, you have the right to be informed of any court proceedings involving your case.
Tips and warnings
- If you've been sexually assaulted, avoid showering or bathing until you have been examined by a doctor. You don't want to destroy any evidence that could help convict the assailant.
- It is often difficult to face the memories of an assault in the workplace on a daily basis. Consider changing jobs or seek counseling following the assault.