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Laborer fired for filing workers’ compensation

A New York appeals court ruled that a company had discriminated against employees because they claimed benefits after being injured on the job. A corporation that supplies supermarkets nationwide has been caught trying to prevent probationary employees from reporting injuries by terminating them. According to the Appellate Division in Albany, this practice is against the purpose of the New York State workers’ compensation law.

The company fired an employee after he was injured on the job. He had reported his injury when he was 7 days away from completing his three-month probationary period. He was injured after operating a piece of machinery that he had used on a regular basis. He was terminated once he returned to work after having sought medical treatment. The company used a document that the employee had signed as the reason for his dismissal. The document stated that probationary employees would be dismissed if they sustained any preventable injuries.

After his termination, the employee filed for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, he lodged a discrimination complaint against his former company, stating that it had fired him in order to retaliate for his benefits claim. Albany’s Appellate Division ruled in his favor, stating that Section 120 of workers’ compensation law forbids employers from discriminating against workers for claiming or attempting to claim benefits.

Those who believe they have been terminated unfairly because of work-related injuries may be afraid to go up against a large company. However, there are laws that protect workers against their employers, as far as workers’ compensation is concerned. Consulting an experienced attorney, who is knowledgeable concerning on-the-job injuries and workers’ compensation claims, might help. Such a legal professional can examine the case and might be able to obtain compensation for them.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Workers’ Comp Policy Harmed Newer Hires“, Marlene Kennedy, July 09, 2013

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