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Michael Lawrence Varon, PLLC Michael Lawrence Varon, PLLC
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New York Schools Must Have Workplace Violence Prevention Plans In Place


When we go to work, we expect to be safe, for the most part. However, things have changed in the past decade or so. There are threats everywhere. Even in the nicest neighborhood, you could get shot at while walking down the street.

The same goes for work. You could be a teacher at a school when a child gets a gun out of their backpack and shoots you. Or maybe you’ll get stabbed or have a desk thrown at you.

Unfortunately, that’s the reality of being a teacher nowadays. The increased violence in the classroom has caused many teachers to quit the education field altogether. For those who remain, their school districts will be forced to create workplace violence protection plans, under New York state law.

The law is set to go into effect January 4, 2024. Under A01120, which was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on September 6, public school districts in New York with at least 20 full-time employees will be required to develop and implement workplace violence prevention programs. The program must include evaluating potential risks within workplaces.

The law amends Section 27-b of state labor law, which has, in the past, excluded public schools as an “employer” based on an established amendment. Public school educators, administrators, and support staff have been asking for a change for a long time to protect themselves and their students. They want the ability to take action to create safe and nurturing learning environments in the classrooms.

What is Workplace Violence?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines workplace violence as physical violence, harassment, or intimidation that occurs at a work site. Acts and threats of violence are included. Some examples of this behavior include:

  • Physical violence. This may include hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, throwing objects at someone, or using a weapon to hurt someone.
  • Bullying isn’t just done in school. It happens in the workplace, too, and may include belittling remarks, spreading false rumors, and exclusion from meetings and activities.
  • Verbal abuse. Verbal threats of physical violence against someone, as well as insults and calling a person names, can be considered workplace violence.
  • Sexual assault/harassment. This refers to any unwanted sexual act committed against an employee without their consent, such as inappropriate comments, unwanted touching, and making unwelcome sexual advances. 

Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The world is a scary place. Even supposedly safe places such as schools can be the sites of assaults, shootings, stabbings, and other forms of violence.

Whether you have been injured while working at a school or other location, a White Plains workers’ compensation lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can help you get the compensation you deserve. If your claim has been delayed or denied, we can help. Fill out the online form or call (914) 228-1770 to schedule a free initial consultation.


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