Some startling news stories in recent years discussed how minorities were the target of discrimination when they filed for worker's compensation. However, the racist issues involved are old news when compared to the latest type of discrimination--obesity. Now people can be fired, receive lower pay for the same job, or refused employment because they are fat. With over one-third of Americans currently suffering from clinical obesity, that is a lot of workplace discrimination, and it affects your workers compensation too. If you are a little husky, here is how you can fight your own workers compensation lawsuit.
No Workers Compensation for the Rubenesque
Some employers will deny you employment because your weight will cost them a lot in health insurance. Others will hire you, but deny your workers compensation. Currently, the two forms of discriminatory action by employers regarding obesity and workers compensation are:
- Refusal to pay claims because of your weight
- Not offering workers compensation to you in the first place because of your weight
Legally, employers cannot do either of the above. You have a right to the same benefits at work as your leaner co-employees. If your weight is a factor in your injuries, that does not matter either. There is no law that stipulates that you cannot receive workers compensation because your weight caused you to break your desk chair and injure your back, much less any other injury.
Proving Your Employer's Failures
As a heavier person, your employer is obliged to provide you with equipment that can withstand your weight. That includes ladders, chairs, platforms, etc. Not providing this equipment but offering you employment puts your safety at risk. When something that cannot support your weight breaks and you are injured, it is your employer's failure, not yours, for not providing adequate equipment. This is the first step in a workers compensation case that your attorney will attempt to prove if your employer denies your claim and says it is your fault for being too heavy.
Proving that you never received workers compensation forms to sign is a lot easier. Since your workers compensation attorney only has to find a few fellow employees who can verify that they received the forms that you did not, the courts will see that as a failure on your employer's part. If your lawyer can locate more people who have obesity and have worked for the same company with a similar experience, then your attorney can prove that your employer is discriminatory against heavier people and has regularly denied certain benefits.
Winning Your Case
You cannot win a discrimination and workers compensation case on your own. You do not have the tools to prove what your employer did or has done. A lawyer does. Hiring a lawyer as soon as you have been denied benefits or you discover that you were never offered the same benefits as everyone else will give your case the power it needs in court to win.
To learn more about your workers compensation benefits, contact Hamilton Law Firm, P.C.