The New York Attorney General recently announced a settlement with C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. after an investigation uncovered illegal employment practices in violation of Workers’ Compensation Law 120. The law, which protects employees from being fired as a result of employment related injuries, was allegedly violated by a C&S policy which terminated employees who were injured by “preventable accidents” within the 90 day probationary period. The Attorney General also found that the policy unfairly dissuaded workers from filing claims for Workers’ Compensation to which they were entitled.
The tasks performed by the workers of C&S involve a great deal of heavy lifting, therefore injuries are an inherent part of such a job. Between 2010 and 2011, eighteen workers were terminated for sustaining injuries in what the company classified as “preventable accidents.” The investigation into C&S employment practices arose when an employee filed for Workers’ Compensation and a discrimination suit after his foot was injured due to an accident with a motorized pallet jack. The case was heard before a New York Worker’s Compensation Law judge who ruled in favor of the plaintiff. C&S appealed, but the appeals court found that the company was in violation of the Workers’ Compensation Law.
As part of the settlement agreement, C&S will now be required to inform workers regarding filing Workers’ Compensation claims, in addition to changing their policy. The company is also required to pay $$36,000 in damages to the former employee, as well as a $10,000 penalty to the Attorney General’s Office.
If you have been injured in a work related accident, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation. Call an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters who can advise you regarding your legal rights. Contact the Workers’ Compensation attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP. For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.