What can I do legally and realistically if I fell ill at work but was forced to keep working?

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What can I do legally and realistically if I fell ill at work but was forced to keep working?

I had a stroke at work. I tried telling my employer but they took it as a joke; they even messaged me in the hospital saying they thought that I was joking. I was so disoriented that my fiance instantly knew something was wrong over the phone. They did not call 911 but instead rushed me to finish the job I was working on because it was their family’s vehicle. I got off work 3 hours later. I am now suffering from loss of balance, coordination and train of thought.

Asked on November 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Did your employer prohibit you from seeking medical attention? If not, the it bears no liability for your condition. The fact is that you could have called 911 for help or left for the ER with or without its permission. Accordingly, you voluntarily accepted the consqeunces of your delayed treatment.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't do anything, unfortunately: your employer is not responsible for sending you to the doctor or taking care of you. You could have refused to work and called 911 yourself and/or left for the emergency room; by instead choosing to continue working, you voluntarily accepted the consequences of doing so. The employer is not liable here, since they did not cause you to have a stroke and did not legally cause you to delay treatment, since you could have called for help or left yourself.


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