Q&A: Can I Sue My Employer for a Robbery at Work?

According to FindLaw, workplace robbery is more common than you might think, affecting about 50,000 businesses in the United States each year. One in every 5,000 employees over age 16 will be a victim of a workplace robbery. Robberies can happen anywhere but typically occur at businesses that handle cash: gas stations, banks, convenience stores, and commercial properties such as malls, retail stores, and restaurants. Some locations come with the added risks of serving alcohol, being open late at night, or having an employee working alone.

If you are one of the unfortunate employees that becomes the victim of a robbery at your workplace, how can you receive compensation for injuries, pain and suffering?

  • Pursue a lawsuit against those who committed the crime. While those cases are sometimes ineffective in producing compensation, it is important to look at every possible angle.
  • File a Workers’ Compensation claim. If your claim is approved and you receive benefits, you cannot then sue your employer. But if your claim is denied, or you feel that your employer’s negligence contributed to the crime, you can take your employer to court.
  • Sue your employer. If you believe that your employer breached a duty of care to maintain a safe workplace that is reasonably free from danger, you could be compensated outside of Workers’ Compensation. If the business is located in a high crime area, your employer is responsible for taking greater precautions. Lack of security cameras or lights in the parking lot can contribute to proving negligence. If robberies occurred previously, that could show a pattern that required extra vigilance from your employer.

The bottom line is this: according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers by law must ensure their workplace is “free from hazards that are likely to cause death or serious harm.” Whether you pursue such a lawsuit as a workplace accident or as a victim of crime, talking to an experienced Pennsylvania Catastrophic Personal Injury attorney can help you understand how best to proceed. Please reach out to us if you would like to learn more.