Can I sue my employer for making me work without sending me to the ER right away?

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Can I sue my employer for making me work without sending me to the ER right away?

I was hurt on the job and broke my foot. My injury happened at 6 pm and they would not let me leave to go to the ER until I found someone to work for me. I didn’t get to leave until 8 pm. I was in horrible pain walking around on my foot, limping and embarassed in front of my customers. I am a server at a restaurant so that involved a lot of walking. I now have to even get surgery on my foot.

Asked on October 22, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue your employer; your employer is not obligated to "send" you to the ER, and the employer did not prevent you from leaving (unless they physically held you down, locked the door, etc.). The employer could tell you that you would lose your job if you left--but then you decided to put your job ahead of your health. That was your choice to do it, and the employer is not liable for your choice.

That said, depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to Worker's Compensation for the initial injury, if injured at work as you indicate; or if there is no Worker's Compensation available, if your employer was at fault in some way in causing the injury (e.g. there was a dangerous condition at work they did not correct), you could possible sue them for the initial injury. However, this recovery is only for the initial injury, if applicable; the employer is not responsible for any exacerbation of the injury caused by your decision to not seek medical care immediately.


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