Q: Is a gun gesture with no accompanying mitigating gestures considered a threat if it happens in the workplace?
I sent a complaint to my manager. He talked me out of going to HR with the complaint. I over heard some people involved in my complaint make comments that suggested my complaint was leaked to them. On the day of, I heard him talk about being worried about being fired and after lunch he tapped my shoulder and made a gun gesture towards me. I was alarmed by this and worked from home the next day. When I reported this to my supervisor, I was told to not take it that way.
A: That appears to be a very fact-based question that may need some more development by witnesses that were around, if any, and/or the strength of your own testimony.
If you knew that there was truly no gun and that the guy was just simply harassing you, it may not rise to the level of a threat. However, if you think you can show that based upon your angle of sight, etc., that you thought there was a gun and were scared that you might get shot, then it would more than likely constitute a threat. Taking the facts on your end as true, it sounds similar to a case where someone robs a convenience store with a BB pistol that looks like a gun. If you can't tell that you were not being threatened with a gun, and the actions of the other person were intentional in that they wanted you to think there was a gun, then I would say, once again, that it is more probable than not that it was a threat.
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