Retail appears to be a relatively safe industry, mainly because retail workers do not have to operate heavy machinery or risk exposure to toxic substances. Their primary responsibility is to cater to the needs of paying customers and sell their employer’s products.
However, retail workers are at a higher risk for workplace violence than other industries because they face new and unpredictable customers daily. Workplace violence involves shopping theft, sexual harassment and verbal abuse, not only assault and battery.
Why is violence a threat to retail workers?
Stores are easily accessible by design because they encourage people to go around and purchase products. Customers can come in with firearms and shoot unarmed employees. They can enter the store and easily walk out without paying for items. Customers are getting increasingly aggressive because they feel they are always right, and retail workers are afraid to retaliate.
Workplace violence in retail stores is growing even more rapidly than the national average. Retail workers deserve to work in a safe environment like all workers do. Employers should prioritize their employees’ safety by implementing stricter security measures.
Can retail workers receive workers’ compensation for violence?
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act has certain conditions that retail workers must satisfy before claiming compensation attributed to workplace violence. The injury should have occurred because of an accident or unexpected event during employment and should have arisen out of employment. Injuries are not always physical. They can also be psychological.
Workers’ compensation cases can be very complex to navigate alone. A retail worker may be able to recover more than they initially intended, depending on the situation. They may even file a personal injury claim against the person who hurt them.