Q. A co-worker is harassing one of our employees, and we are concerned it may get violent. What can we do about this?
A. This is a very challenging employment problem. One option is to file a civil action pursuant to the North Carolina Act (N.C.G.S. §§ 95-260 et seq.).
This lawsuit can be filed by an employee or by the employer after the employer has consulted with the employee. The purpose of the act is to protect the employee victim from any attempts to cause him or her bodily injury, from harassment causing an employee to fear for his or her safety or from threats that would likely be carried out when such conduct is occurring or may occur in the workplace.
The filing of such a lawsuit generally results in an immediate civil no-contact order that can be extended up to one year after a hearing. If the offending party violates the order, he can be punished for contempt of court.
There are also other options for dealing with this type of workplace problem. I recommend contacting an attorney to help deal with this type of problem.
- Planning for the worst: Implementing a workplace violence policy
- Apply zero-tolerance policy on workplace violence across the board
- Fired Co-op City worker makes good on threat to kill boss
- Discipline employee who refuses to abide by safety rules
- Another reason to enforce violence policy: To avoid workers' compensation liability