The title pretty much says it, really. If I’m attacked at work, say someone kidnaps me while I’m walking a dog alone at night or someone breaks in and shoots me to get into the controlled substances cabinet, would my employer be liable for any losses I suffer?
There’s been an intermittent issue with people loitering around the clinic property since I started there. Things have been much worse since a bar opened across the street. Cars have been vandalized and broken into. We’ve found people lurking in our bushes around twilight. The other night a carload of men were sitting in our back parking lot, and they peeled out when a male employee pulled in and parked next to them. This makes a lot of the emergency staff very nervous, since we’re almost all women, and we have a lot of money and controlled drugs in the building, and we have to walk dogs late at night.
There is no security camera on the back door or the dog walking area. Hell, there’s not even adequate lighting on the dog walk area. We don’t have a panic button, or a canister of mace, or a stun gun, or anything else to summon help or protect ourselves with. (There’s an under-the-counter alarm button at the front desk, but that’s it.) We use the buddy system after dark when we can, but we’re often too busy/understaffed for that to be feasible. We’ve mentioned all these concerns to the clinic owner, and he’s talking about buying us a set of walkie-talkies to carry with us on walks.
Legally speaking, does this constitute an unsafe work environment? If something happened to one of us, would the clinic be liable for medical bills, lost wages, or even wrongful death?