What to do if my father was accused of an incident that his supervisor could have avoided but wasnt paying attention to?

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2012

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What to do if my father was accused of an incident that his supervisor could have avoided but wasnt paying attention to?

He then got blamed for not doing his job safely. Earlier he was physically slapped in the back of the head by his employer. Before he hurt his wrist on the job and his employer said he couldnt file workmans compensation and that he couldnt come back to work until the doctor said so. he was out of a job and out of money because of the company. They then made him work with a hurt wrist and told him if he left, he would be fired. Is there any claim he can make to sue the company for the loss of money and assault?

Asked on October 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If your father was hurt at work, he should be able to file for Workman's Compensation regardless of whether the company wanted him to or not--they don't get to decide that. He can contact the Labor Department directly. If it turns out he was not covered by Workerman's Compensation (e.g. the  company didn't take it out), then he could potentially sue the company, including in small claims court, for his injury.

2) If he did not have an employment contract--and most people don't--he was an employee at will and could be fired at any time, for any reason. While employer's can't discriminate against employees due to a disability (e.g. they can't fire someone simply because that person is disabled; they have to make "reasonable"--or not too expensive or disruptive--changes to let someone who is disabled do his/her job), if someone, like your father, simply cannot do the job he was hired to do, whether because of an injury or otherwise, the company can most likely fire him; they are not required to retain employees who can't work. It would be worthwhile for your father to discuss the matter with an employment law attorney (many provide a free initial consultation; you can check on this before coming in to speak wiith the lawyer) or with the state equal/civil rights agency, there is a good chance that if he could not work, he could be terminated.

3) You father may have been entitled to disability payments (e.g. state disability) and should look into that.

4) If the employer slapped AND injured your father, he may be able to sue. But the amount of money someone can recover for a physical assault  is based on or related to the extent of the injury: if there was no injury from the slap, there's no point in suing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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