One of the biggest obstacles employees face when reporting workplace injuries is employer retaliation. A legal battle between Caterpillar and one of its injured workers illustrates that point very well.
Rudolf Amaya hurt his back while lifting boxes in a warehouse in Miami five years ago. Amaya claims that the managers of the warehouse humiliated and harassed him after reporting the injury.
There are two separate motivations in cases like these: Employers who want to keep their insurance cost low by reduces the amount on workplace injuries that occur; and employees who may exaggerate injuries to miss work.
In this case, Caterpillar and Amaya could not even agree on the weight of the box–Caterpillar says the box weighed 81 pounds, while Amaya and a colleague claim the box weighed less than 50 pounds.
Amaya was suspended when he returned to work after his injury for one day for violation of the safety policy. The policy states that no employee is to lift a box that weighs more than 50 pounds without help from another employee.
At his deposition, Luis Gaston, Amaya’s supervisor said that his performance review and pay did depend partly on the injury rates. The plant’s employees also receive monetary recognition if the plant met safety goals. All these tactics decrease the chances of employees reporting work-related injuries for fear of retaliation or loss of the safety incentives.
If you qualify for workers compensation, you should not fear your employer when filing a claim. Please contact us if you suffered a severe injury at work; we can walk you through the entire process and help you maximize your chances of an approved claim. Call 614-221-7548 to schedule your free consultation today.
Did You Know?: State and federal laws prohibit retaliation if a worker reports suspected violations to the proper jurisdiction.Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC – Columbus workers comp lawyers
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