Employees who get hurt in an accident at work don't expect to get fired for having that accident; however, one man in West Virginia says that is what happened to him when he tried to fill out a workers' compensation claim. The man has exercised his right to pursue legal action against the company because of the circumstances he was faced with. He has sued the company for punitive damages, compensatory damages, attorney's fees, interest and costs.
The man was injured in May of 2013. He says that when he tried to file a claim for workers' compensation, he was told that his position was being terminated. He claims the company, TK Mining Services, then held his final paycheck until the middle of the next month, which allegedly violated the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act because the wages weren't paid within four business days of the complainant's termination.
The complainant claims the company and one other defendant violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act provisions that deal with disability, namely retaliation and discrimination. The complainant says he was wrongfully terminated because of being injured. He also asserts that the company didn't work to determine what types of accommodations he needed.
Any worker who is injured on the job needs to make sure he understands his rights. The laws governing these rights are complex. They can include laws pertaining to workers' compensation, employee pay, employee injury, employee safety and a host of other topics. When any rights aren't upheld by the company, seeking compensation in a court of law is possible.
Source: The West Virginia Record, "Man alleges mine fired him to avoid workers’ comp claim" April Bamburg, Aug. 22, 2014