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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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