It is reported that a New York City MTA Worker was slugged in the face.  She worked as a cleaner. It is also reported that she worked for a company contracted with the MTA.

This article will discuss “unprovoked attacks.”

Are There Any Special Benefits For Individuals Who Sustain Work-Related “Unprovoked Attacks”?

Possibly.  In California, a number of companies and government agencies provide benefits beyond workers’ compensation for unprovoked attacks.  In other words, some employers, when there is an unprovoked attack, will pay the injured worker funds that exceed traditional workers’ compensation benefits.

The companies who have this benefit are likely to do so are government agencies.  Unprovoked Attack Benefits are usually are delineated in a Union Contract or the Memorandum of Understanding.

If an Injured Worker sustains an injury caused by an unprovoked attack, they may want to make an inquiry as to whether they are eligible.  The Human Resources Department should be able to provide the worker the answer to their eligibility.  Again, these benefits are not too common.  They usually involve occupations that have extensive contact with the public or individuals who are incarcerated. 

An example of these benefits come from the Los Angeles version of the MTA.   Some employees are provided the benefit per the contract as follows: “SECTION 2. PAYMENT FOR TIME LOST (a) It is further agreed that if the Operator is physically injured as a result of such robbery, or as a result of an unprovoked attack by another person, such injury resulting in a loss of time, he/she shall be paid 100% of the time lost during the first seven (7) days of disability and 80% of the time lost thereafter. If Workers’ Compensation Benefits are provided during this period, the basis of payment will be as shown above less the Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Operators sustaining injury shall be paid for all time lost as the result of an unprovoked attack when medical verification is provided. Payment will be limited to a maximum of one (1) year after the date of any one incident. (b) An Operator required to wear prescription glasses as a condition to his/her license to drive, whose prescription glasses are lost or damaged as a result of robbery or unprovoked attack, will be compensated up to a maximum of four (4) days’ pay for time lost until the glasses are repaired or replaced. (c) In the event an Operator loses time due to the loss of his/her regulation watch in a robbery or unprovoked attack, he/she will be compensated for the remainder of his/her assignment that day.”

Given the Present Fact Pattern, What Should This Worker Do?

With the reported facts, the Applicant worked for a company that was contracted with the MTA. Thus, it is more likely that her employer may not provide her for such a benefit. Again, she should check with her Human Resources Department to ascertain whether she is entitled to this additional benefit.

Are There Disputes Concerning Unprovoked Attacks? What Happens?

Yes. Over my years of representation, Employers can dispute an unprovoked attack claim.  If this happens, there is likely a dispute resolution process that occurs.  This would be addressed via the Union Contract or Memorandum of Understanding.  Whether there was an unprovoked attack is not something that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board would adjudicate.

What if I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.


9.3Edward Jay Singer
Edward Jay SingerReviewsout of 22 reviews