What is Employer Negligence?
If you have been emotionally or physically hurt in your workplace, you may be wondering if you have a case for proving that your employer was responsible for your injury or damage. If handling such a situation, it is possible that the company may have failed to protect and ensure proper working conditions for you to be safe and work in a secure environment. This is scientifically known as negligence. To prove workplace negligence, you must show evidence that the employer did something inadequate and that this directly led to your injury. More specifically, these four elements must be present in your case:
- the victim was owed a particular standard of care and safety that should have been provided by the employer;
- this duty of care was breached by the employer;
- the victim was injured, and there is clear evidence of the injury;
- the damage was directly due to the company breach.
Not every workplace accident means negligence. The employer was negligent if his actions directly caused an accident, therefore violating the duty of care he owed to his employee. If this applies, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney to see if your situation meets the criteria for employer negligence and if a case is likely to be successful.
If an employer is found negligent, he will face consequences. Often, this translates in the form of paying damages to the victim, but he may also be required to change workplace policies to prevent future injuries.
5 Ways to Prove An Employer was Negligent:
1. Negligent Hiring
Employers have the responsibility to screen potential employees carefully, to ensure that other workers and the public are not put at risk by an unstable individual with a history of violent or criminal behavior. One way to show proof of negligent hiring is to provide evidence that an employer did not go through a thorough evaluation of an employee before signing the contract.
Another way to prove negligent hiring is to provide evidence that an employee did not have the appropriate licensure or education for the job and the management failed to check this accordingly. Companies may and should be held liable for failing to do their due diligence (checking references from previous employers, verifying education and work histories, doing criminal background checks when appropriate, etc.) when making hiring decisions.
If an employee who should not have been hired causes an injury, the employer can be held responsible due to negligent actions.
2. Negligent Retention
It’s not just about hiring a person that is unfit for the job; it’s also about not keeping an eye on an individual when he becomes evidently dangerous to his working environment.
Workplace negligence can apply to situations related to retaining an employee who puts other workers or the public at risk, or at least not taking some corrective action against him, such as mandatory retraining or reassignment to a different task or partner.
Negligent retention can be shown through evidence that an employer was aware of an employee’s record and did not take appropriate disciplinary action to train him or help him solve his behavioral predicament.
3. Negligent Training and Supervision.
In any workplace, there is a responsibility to train all employees properly so they can implement their tasks efficiently. When an employee who has not been adequately trained harms another worker or a member of the public, the employer can be held accountable for this omission.
In addition to training, companies are responsible for the appropriate supervision of their employees. Within reason, they are expected to monitor and control the actions of their workers. When failing to do so, they are liable for not supervising the employee who harms or puts other individuals at risk.
One can support a claim of negligent supervision by offering evidence that the workplace either consistently failed to monitor their workers appropriately, or that they at least failed to control a particular instance correctly. The challenge is given by what constitutes appropriate supervision. This definition will vary considerably depending on the type of business and the specific job functions in question.
4. Negligent Exposure
Employers have a legal obligation to protect their employees from exposure to toxic substances. If a workplace has knowingly and purposefully exposed their workers to dangerous materials like asbestos or radium, they are guilty of negligence. The company is required to offer unique and proper clothing and instruments that protect the health of their workers, especially when they need to work with toxic or dangerous substances.
A claim of negligent exposure can be supported by offering evidence that the employer purposefully allowed their employees to be exposed to a harmful substance, or they failed to test for the presence of these dangerous toxins.
5. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
Negligent infliction of emotional distress happens when a victim is either injured (and has significant emotional distress stemming from that injury) or has witnessed some incident that was emotionally scarring, like an assault or a very aggressive fight.
With negligent infliction of emotional distress, you need to show evidence of symptoms like high blood pressure, nausea, insomnia or depression. Claiming negligent infliction of emotional distress without an accompanying physical injury is particularly tough. Just witnessing an accident may not be enough, even with proof of severe emotional distress. An expert attorney and a specialized doctor will help you determine if you have a strong case.
Proving negligence is much easier when working with an experienced attorney. They will help you analyze your particular situation to see if the four necessary elements are present. Some cases of workplace negligence are easier to prove than others.
If you have been injured by a negligent employer, you are owed compensation for your suffering. Contact Law Offices of Vastola & Associates., to discuss your case. We will help you with assistance and consultancy throughout the entire process.