Yesterday we looked at the case of an agency providing care for the developmentally disabled that was cited for a General Duty Clause violation because of ongoing, unresolved workplace violence issues. Such issues are common in many workplaces—but for one New Jersey employer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined that its failure to address the issue amounted to willful neglect of worker safety.
OSHA cited Jay Management Inc. (Jay) for a General Duty Clause violation after a worker at a convenience store in Irvington, New Jersey, was fatally shot during a robbery.
A History of Violence
At the Getty gas station and convenience store on Stuyvesant Avenue in Irvington, security was less than optimal. Between 2010 and 2015, more than 20 incidents of theft, armed robbery, and fights occurred at the store, culminating in the October 26, 2015, shooting death of 57-year-old Ashiwin Patel, a clerk at the store. Following the incident, the local prosecutor’s office offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest (none has yet been made). OSHA also conducted an investigation, determining not only that Jay had committed a serious violation of the General Duty Clause in failing to protect workers from exposure to violence but also that it had willfully done so.