Employers are well familiar with the concept that they may be sued for negligence for maintaining the employment of a sexual or other type harasser, particularly where another employee is adversely affected. One case involves a recent Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the Home Depot case, in which a supervisor murdered an employee while they attended a wedding hundreds of miles away from their worksite. The mother of the deceased employee sued Home Depot alleging it knew of the supervisor’s history of verbal abuse and should have terminated him long before. This case raises issues pertaining to supervisors using their authority to harm co-workers far away from work.
A recent lawsuit in Florida attempts to expand this concept , the employer of the gunman that engaged in the shooting rampage at a nightclub in Orlando, FL (Clon v. G.4S PLC, S.D. Fla. No. 2: 17-cv-14100, complaint filed 3/22/17. The lawsuit claims that the gunman told coworkers at his employment site that he associated with terrorists and /or would have a terrorist organization engage in violent acts, so that the employer should have moved to revoke the employee’s security guards’ firearm license and taken other steps. This development presents another concern to employers receiving information alleging violent tendencies on the part of one or more of its employees.