DOL brings lawsuit against employer after workplace accident

U.S. Department of Labor sues beef jerky maker over allegation that owner fired a worker in retaliation for calling 911 when co-worker cut thumb off in a workplace accident.

CNBC reports that a beef jerky maker has been sued for firing a worker who tried to call 911 after a co-worker severed his thumb. It is also alleged that little was done to clean or sanitize the blood contaminated areas. This same company had previously been cited by OSHA for other “serious” violations.

We are shocked and disturbed by this news item. No employee should ever face retaliation for helping a co-worker hurt on-the-job. This woman should be applauded for taking the initiative and doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, this situation illustrates a point we make with our own clients. Do not count on co-workers supporting your case at trial because everyone is afraid of losing their jobs. We see this play out when witnesses suddenly forget seeing an accident or make up other stories.

Our job as workers’ compensation lawyers is to advocate for people hurt on-the-job. Michigan law already protects employees who are fired in retaliation for making a claim. We think additional protections are needed for co-workers.

We also encourage workers to contact MIOSHA with any safety complaints. This process allows a person to request withholding of his or her name from the employer. Information about the MIOSHA complaint process can be found on its website.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

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Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by stevendepolo.

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