Workers who suffer injuries while on the job are entitled to worker's compensation benefits. Upon an employee's return to work, employers are required by law to make necessary adjustments with regard to work conditions and assignments to accommodate an employee's disability. Employers that fail to do so or take retaliatory action against injured employees may face legal action.
A man recently settled a federal workplace discrimination and retaliation case for the sum of $160,000. The man had been employed for 10 years as an electrical lineman for the city. He suffered a work-related accident during 2006 that left him unable to perform many of the work duties required of a lineman.
To keep his job, the city required the man to return to work. However, rather than make necessary accommodations that would allow him to return to his position as lead lineman, he was placed in a lower position without a pay cut. The man, however, contends he was the victim of discrimination as his manager stated he did not want an injured or black man working in his department.
Permanently disabled due to his work-related injury, during 2010, the man's manager requested he take a demotion and 50 percent pay cut. Fearing he would be fired, the man did so. He also, however, filed a discrimination complaint which he contends resulted in retaliation by his employer in the form of being passed over for a raise.
The two parties recently settled out of court for the amount of $160,000. Additionally, the man will receive his original hourly salary as well as reimbursement for legal fees.
Source: The Macon Telegraph, "Forsyth settles with employee in federal discrimination lawsuit," March 19, 2013