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Workers’ compensation claim gets man fired, lawsuit alleges

When a worker gets hurt on the job, he might decide that he needs to file a claim for workers’ compensation. While many of these claims are made by workers without incident, a recent lawsuit in West Virginia shows that employers sometimes may react inappropriately to the claims.

The lawsuit was filed by a man who was employed by Gateway Eagle Coal Company when he was injured. On Dec. 2, 2013, he was injured while he was operating a continuous miner. He began receiving workers’ compensation because of the knee injury he suffered.

When the man returned to work on Feb. 24 of this year, he says that he was suspended and later fired. The former employee of the company says he was wrongfully fired.

The injured man asserts that the company didn’t make reasonable accommodations for his disability. He also says the defendants discriminated against him and fired him because he filed the workers’ compensation claim.

He alleges that the operations manager for the company accused him of being the person at fault for the accident that caused his injury. His lawsuit is asking for reinstatement and damages.

This man’s lawsuit shows that workers’ compensation cases aren’t always easy to navigate. In some cases, employers act as they should and the case is easy, but in other cases, employers decide to act in manners similar to what this company allegedly did. Understanding your rights as you go through the workers’ compensation process and learning what to expect when you return to work are vital to ensure that your rights aren’t violated.

Source:  The West Virginia Record, “Boone man claims he was fired for filing workers’ comp claim” Annie Cosby, May. 19, 2014

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