Man Sues Employer After Losing Arm And Getting Laid Off
An Iowa man is claiming employment discrimination after he lost his arm in a tire-grinding machine accident. According to the victim, his supervisor told him to service the machine while it was still running because they were behind in production and needed to catch up. As a result of that request, the man lost part of his arm. He also says that after the injury, he was not allowed to return to work.
The man spent the next few months undergoing numerous surgeries to repair his arm. He would spend months after that in rehab. Within a few days of his return, he received a letter saying that he was to be terminated due to COVID-19.
The same company was fined over $12,000 for another safety violation. The employee who was terminated said that he hasn’t been able to find another job while his former employer and OSHA square off.
What’s going on?
Well, once you lose an arm, you become a member of a protected civil rights class. Disabled workers cannot be pushed out of their positions unless their disability prevents them from doing their job. Under Iowa law, the employer must give the employee a shot to his job. Federal law requires that all employers make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees to do their jobs properly. Because the man was laid off due to “COVID”, the employer is now stuck defending that specific legal argument. They cannot turn around and say that the employee was drunk, or bad at his job, or anything else. They’re stuck defending a COVID explanation.
What will OSHA do?
OSHA can help determine whether or not any safety regulations were violated during the course of the accident. Clearly, the machine should not have been serviced while it was still running, and the supervisor should not have demanded that the machine be serviced while it was running. Now, with OSHA involved, the company may be feeling the pinch of scrutinizing eyes.
Similarly, the employee, who would be barred from filing a lawsuit based on the accident due to workers’ compensation, has now been given an inroad into filing another type of lawsuit, a civil rights lawsuit.
It’s unclear how the company plans on justifying a COVID explanation for the termination, but that’s now what they have to work with. Perhaps the employee refused to get vaccinated. If that’s the case, then the employer may be justified in letting the employee go, but this event occurred long before the vaccine mandate, so it’s unlikely to make a difference.
Talk to a Miami Workplace Injury Attorney Today
The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer Law represent the interests of injured workers. Call our office today to discuss your situation with a seasoned attorney and begin the process of litigating your claim.