24 Hours After a Robbery

Breathe. What you went through was extremely traumatizing and you are allowed to feel every which way right now. Even if you were not directly confronted during the incident, you can experience reactions from your exposure to the robbery or attempted robbery.

How people react to these events varies from person to person and is affected by individual factors such as how you usually handle stressful situations and what kind of support you have both inside and outside work. Your reaction may be immediate or may be delayed. You may experience symptoms that are physical, emotional, or cognitive (involving your thinking ability)

Some of the physical symptoms that you may have experienced include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Hyper-Alertness (Feeling “Jumpy”)
  • Stomach Pains
  • Loss of Appetite

Or emotional symptoms like:

  • Inability to Sleep
  • Nightmares
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Crying

We recognize healthcare is a privilege working in this industry. So, if you have a medical provider, make an appointment with them as soon as possible and let them know you were the victim of a robbery at work. Ask to be recommended to a mental heath professional that you could talk to about your experiences. When you are talking with your counselor, don’t try to be strong, and don’t minimize or dismiss your feelings about the experience. Scientifically, employees suffer PTSD and Depression at higher rates within a month of a robbery. Don’t hold back, your emotions are valid.

If you are planning to file Worker’s Compensation to cover any lost wages due to any illness that was triggered after the robbery your claim must be supported with credible, specialized evidence. This includes written diagnosis and prognosis from a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or mental health counselor, written testimony from coworkers, friends, and family members about your symptomatic behavior, copies of your receipts for anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, and other medications prescribed to treat your psychological injuries will also support your case.

Please note, it is always more difficult to prove psychological damage than physical injuries. We are not licensed to provide legal advice, this is meant to serve as a self-help guide.

72 Hours After a Robbery

It’s okay that you might be feeling the need for extra security precautions. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) that oversees legalized cannabis in Oregon only requires licensed businesses to have a high-resolution video surveillance system. Everything else is up to the employer to go “above and beyond”. These recommendations could be something as simple as updating written policy to installing a panic button near registers. Here are some other safety measures you could recommend:

  • Lock doors used for deliveries and disposal of garbage when not in use
  • Post signs that the area is being surveilled
  • Recommend that deposits be taken to the bank at varied times and through varied routes of travel.
  • Ask if Owner would be open to hiring a DPSST-certified security guard

Going Forward

It is alright if months go by and you are still feeling a little shook up. Hopefully by now you are feeling more secure and confident to attend work regularly. Follow our safety guideline for employees to keep potential robbers at bay:

  • Follow the Buddy System when opening or closing a location
  • Ensure that 2+ employees are always on the floor at once
  • Pool tips in limited jars and dispense during operating hours
  • Remember the Golden Rule: “The greater the risk of getting caught, the lower the likelihood that someone will do it.”

If you face any retaliation or discrimination for asking for increased safety measures, please don’t hesitate to call the CWC’s hotline at 503-343-4779 or online here. We are currently reaching out to mental health organizations to find options for those without access and will update as soon as it is available.

Note that the contents of this guide are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. Contact the Cannabis Workers Coalition for employee-side employment attorney referrals.