Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation: Assault and Workplace Violence

Almost 2 million Americans report incidents of workplace violence each year. This is a scary statistic, because every person has the right to a safe and comfortable work environment. One of the most common questions we receive is whether or not victims of workplace violence are entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. 
The answer to this question generally depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident.  Incidents that occur BECAUSE of employment are covered, while incidents that only occur DURING employment are usually not covered. Below are some explanations as well as some examples of each category. 
Because of Employment
Incidents that occur because of employment include incidents that arise out of or are worsened by a situation that took place at work. For example, if a nurse is treating a difficult and violent patient and, as a result of doing his or her job, is struck or knocked over, any injuries the nurse received would be covered by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. Another similar example would be a violent retail customer, as long as the violence that took place was not the result of personal issues between the attacker and the employee.  
During Employment
Unfortunately, injuries that merely occur DURING working hours, and are not a result of a person’s job, are not usually covered by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. Let’s say, for example, Steve and Jeff get into an argument over the weekend. On Monday, Steve visits Jeff at his place of employment, punches him in the face, and breaks his nose. Since the altercation was personal and had nothing to do with work, the Jeff would not likely be able to get workers’ compensation benefits for his injury. 
If, however, when Steve showed up at the workplace he was egged or provoked by some of Jeff’s coworkers, it’s possible that Jeff would be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. 
Determining the validity of a case on your own can be difficult. If you are ever the victim of workplace violence, it’s in your best interest to contact a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney to find out whether or not you should pursue legal action. 
If you live in the Harrisburg, State College, or Scranton area, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at (717) 234-2402 for a FREE consultation. DO NOT miss out on the benefits you are entitled to.