Q. One of our employees is being harassed by a co-worker, and we are concerned it may get violent. What can we do about this?
A. This is a 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)
Either the employee or employer can file this lawsuit after the employer has consulted with the employee. The purpose of the act is to protect the employee victim from any attempts to cause bodily injury, from harassment causing the employee to fear for his or her safety or from threats that would likely be carried out, when such conduct occurs or may occur in the workplace.
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 or she can be punished for contempt of court.
Consult with an attorney to explore other options for dealing with this type of workplace problem.
- How can we prevent co-worker harassment from escalating into violence?
- Play it straight: When employee's complaints become irrational, stick with sound procedures
- Bring domestic violence out of the workplace shadows
- Threat of suicide justifies medical exam
- Flying pocketknife cuts into heart of employer's policy