Unless you’re completely out of your mind, the last thing in the world that you would want to do is injure yourself at work. With any sort of injury, there is a loss of income, dealing with legal things that you may not had expected, and the list goes on. This story is brought to us by an individual, who requested to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. Given what we’ve been informed, it seems he maybe a bit late on avoiding the said retaliation, however. Though this isn’t our typical style, we decided to cover this simply because as a platform, we will always stand against bullies, no matter the situation.
Express Personnel is a nationwide employment agency. While they typically assist the unemployed in getting “temp” jobs, They don’t hide the fact that their employees are nothing more than “cash cows” for the agency, especially if you have gotten a workplace injury. This brings us to the ‘Express Personnel’ services of Seminole, Oklahoma. In specific, we are going to be discussing the manager of this branch and her apparent lack of professionalism. As of this time, we have reached out to this specific agency, inviting them to issue a comment. However, as the past has shown, we don’t really have high expectations of receiving one.
The employee, who made us aware of this situation, had just started working at a local production plant, producing food products. According to the individual, things were going great, until he had gotten injured halfway through his shift. The injury apparently occurred when the employee lifted a box, potentially turning wrong, leading to a muscle and tendon being strained in his lower back. Even with the said injury, he stated that he remained at his work station for an additional hour. However, the pain increasingly became unbearable, forcing him to leave.
The next day, the employee reported the injury to his employer, ‘Express Personnel.’ At this point, he mentioned that he was almost unable to walk. For this reason, he had utilized a cane. Calling the employer, they demanded that he drive to their office, he informed them of the severity of the pain. However, this is when he claims the first round of hostility began. From one of the audio files sent to us, they are heard saying, “well, you need to get up here as soon as possible, TODAY,” before abruptly ending the call. As demanded, the employee drove to the location. According to him, upon entering the building, he was immediately with unnecessary statements regarding his cane.
While at the location, the branch manager had him sign various papers. One containing a rather questionable question: “What could you have done differently to prevent this injury?” The problem with this question is that it’s what they define as a “loaded question.” Essentially, there is no means of answering this question without placing the complete blame onto the employee. Basically, this is a legal trick to removing any accountability from Express. Initially, the employee refused to answer the question, only to be met with more hostility. According to him, he even tried to advise them that he wasn’t certain as to how to answer the question. He informs us that the fact he knew what they were trying to do, was partly to blame for this. The branch manager, at this point allegedly replied with, “Well, you better figure it out because they’re going to ask you the same thing,” though she never specified as to who “they” are. After answering the question, under duress, he informs us that he went to their doctor.
Upon completing the doctor visit, the employee began his 20 mile trip back to Express. He informs us that he was required to return so that he can give them a copy of the paperwork, provided by the doctor. When arriving, he decided to begin recording. He says this was because of the previous hostility, he simply wanted evidence of it. Currently, our platform has this audio recording. Upon listening to it, it’s not only apparent that this manager lacks any form of professionalism, she is outright bullying this employee. If you haven’t guessed, while he may not of had any form of legal action previously, he most certainly could have one on these grounds.
The one thing that really stood out, in this recording, was a statement made by the manager. “I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t care if you come to work or not, it’s less money that we have to spend.” I must ask the question: Is this Express Personnel’s policy regarding treatment of their employees? Is this their policy on how to treat an individual simply for having an accident at work? It would seem so. I turned to Google and began conducting some research. I wanted to confirm if this man could potentially have a case, not on his injury, but rather on how he has been treated as a result.
According to “injurycoach.com,” he very well may. The site reads as follows:
Most employers are immune to employee lawsuits due to a complicated web of workers’ compensation statutes protecting them. … If you‘ve been injured, mistreated, or wrongfully fired from your job, you may be well within your rights under state or federal laws to file a lawsuit against your employer.
Essentially, due to how the workers compensation laws are designed, the company can’t really be held financially liable for any injury, though he has already informed us that he was never intending for any of the post report events to occur. However, because they did mistreat him upon reporting the injury, he very well may have a case, depending on what the laws within his state say.
Nobody ever expects to be injured at their work. When these injuries do occur, the employee shouldn’t be treated as though they committed a crime, especially by their employer. Though this individual is still employed with them, he has made it abundantly clear that he has every intention of terminating that, once he is cleared for work. To that, we can only wish him good health and better employment.