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Fast-food workers face violence

Workplace accidents often include faulty equipment, unsafe chemicals or human error. However, injuries are not attributed solely to workplace accidents. Recent violence against fast-food workers across the country reveals the dangers posed by violence at the workplace and the need for employers to take reasonable precautions.

The year 2018 was notable for assaults at fast food restaurants. A customer punched, knocked and pushed a manager at a California McDonald's because there was not enough ketchup.

On New Year's Eve, an older patron grabbed a 20-year-old worker at a St. Petersburg McDonald's because of a dispute over plastic straws. There are also charges that a customer slapped a Chick-Fil-A employee in Alabama.

This violence did not start last year. A man threw a chair and milkshake at a 60-year-old female employee at a Dallas Burger King in 2017.

Retail areas, restaurants, stadiums and schools have seen increases in random violence. However, a video camera has been the most significant defense against assaults at fast-food restaurants and meaningful safety measures have not been implemented at other service establishments.

In protest over these inadequate measures, McDonald employees will protest at the St. Petersburg McDonalds where the assault occurred. Organizers from Fight for $15, formed to increase minimum wages for workers, said the strike is a protest physical attacks, armed robberies, sexual and racial discrimination and other unacceptable workplace conditions.

Although victims of these attacks may be low-wage workers, they may be entitled to compensation from the perpetrators of these assaults and employers who did not meet their duty to protect customers and workers by installing reasonable safety measures or taking other precautions. An attorney can help assure that workers pursue their right to compensation and damages in a lawsuit or workers' compensation proceeding.

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