We would all like to believe that whatever our line of work, if we have the misfortune of being injured on the job, the employer would at worst make it hassle to get fairly compensated for the injury. This is in and of itself bad enough, but some employers really take the cake by responding to the injured employee and sometimes other employees who bring the injury to the attention of higher-ups with retaliatory firing. Not only is this morally reprehensible, it is explicitly illegal.
Just such a scenario has been playing out right here in Philadelphia over the last couple of years, resulting in federal lawsuits filed against the company who apparently believed it could get away with it. A worker in a Philadelphia plant suffered a serious injury to a hand while on the job in 2014, resulting in the loss of three of his fingers. The company operating the plant met this permanent loss of half a hand by telling the employee to go ahead not come back work.
The employee wasn’t about to take this retaliation sitting down, and filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The ensuing investigation resulted in the company being fined $822,000. Apparently having not learned its lesson, the company proceeded to fire both the plant manager and another employee who had assisted the injured employee with photographing the equipment where the injury had occurred. The company is currently a defendant in a federal lawsuit for wrongful termination.
In the modern era, where documentation with a cellphone is easier than ever, and laws protecting injured parties and those who have been fired for discriminatory reasons, one would think that this kind of brazen disregard for both the law and human decency would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, there are still large and small companies that operate as though they can lawyer their way out of any offense. If you have suffered a workplace accident, you deserve fair treatment and compensation, not discrimination and intimidation. The guidance of an experienced lawyer can help you ensure that you are treated fairly while you pursue justice.
Source: Legal Examiner, “Government Files Lawsuit Against Philadelphia Company for Unlawful Retaliation,” Steven Cohn, accessed Oct. 12, 2016