United States Post Office Sued For Discrimination and Wrongful Termination
Marilyn R. O’Hara has filed a wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service, claiming they dismissed her because of her knee problems. (Case No. 4:13-CV-563)
O’Hara has worked with the U.S. Postal Service as a full-time letter carrier since September 1993. However, in 2007 she began to have problems with her knees leading to three scopes and a total replacement. Consequently, she had to take a medical leave of absence as part of the Workers’ Compensation Program.
The lawsuit further claims that the Postal Inspector General visited O’Hara’s physician and pressured the doctor to change his work restriction to light duty. The complainant returned to duty about a month later “in poor health,” stating she sustained a back injury in late August 2008. O’Hara went off-duty again only to be “forced” back on the job in June 2010. The Area Manager eventually informed O’Hara that no positions would be made available to her and she was officially terminated in February.
According to the California Department of Labor Relations, it is illegal for an employer to punish or fire an employee for having a job injury or for requesting workers’ compensation benefits when they have suffered an injury caused by their job.
The workers' compensation system provides:
- replacement income when employees are off work
- payments for medical expenses, including doctors' visits, surgeries, and prescription drugs, and
- vocational rehabilitation benefits -- including on-the-job training, education, or job placement assistance (depending on the state where the employee is injured).
An employee who is temporarily unable to work will usually receive temporary disability payments of two-thirds of the employee's average wage, up to a fixed ceiling. An employee who becomes permanently unable to do the work he or she was doing prior to the injury, or unable to work at all, may be eligible for long-term or lump-sum benefits for permanent disability.
If you have suffered an on the job injury or have been discriminated against because you have suffered an injury, please call the Employment Attorneys at M&F Law for a free consultation.
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