A lawsuit filed by Jim Garrity against a nursing facility alleges that our client, a 68-year old certified nursing assistant (CNA), was fired for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, her situation is all too common. Many employers fire workers once they’re injured. But the law allows such employees to sue for substantial damages when this happens, and our client chose to fight back.
Last week a judge rejected the employer’s efforts to have the case thrown out.
CNAs perform important tasks. They help residents get dressed, bath, and get in and out of beds, bathrooms and wheelchairs. The risk of injury is high because residents may grab onto the CNA when falling. That can lead to neck, back and spine injuries.
Here our client was helping a resident who fell in the bathroom. Our client tried to lift her up and wound up injuring herself. As with such injuries, it didn’t manifest itself until later in the day and at that point our client reported it for purposes to get care under workers’ compensation laws. Instead, the facility sent her home, didn’t fill out the mandatory forms, and then fired her. She never got workers’ compensation benefits.
The law allows employees who are wrongly fired for reporting injuries to sue and recover substantial money damages for past and future income, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Attorneys’ fees and costs can also be awarded.
Employers try to avoid workers’ compensation claims because it can raise their insurance rates. So blocking or ignoring a claim saves them money, even though it does terrible harm to the injured worker.
Common ways employers cheat employees of workers’ comp benefits?
- They fire the employee on bogus grounds immediately after learning of the injury;
- They send the worker home to rest, but don’t tell them of their rights to comp benefits;
- They fire the employee because the employee waited a few days to see if the injury was something significant enough to be reported.
Fired After an On-The-Job Injury? Seek Legal Advice Immediately
If you or someone you know was wrongfully fired after reporting an on-the-job injury, seek advice from an employee rights expert immediately. And we’re always willing to consult, free of charge. You can reach us at (800) 663-7999 or by email at Jim@JimGarrityLaw.com.