New Jersey employees who suffer injuries in the workplace have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. Unfortunately, not all employers respond favorably to claims for benefits, and some terminate injured employees in retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. While generally people fired after being hurt at work can seek recourse via the civil courts, in some instances they may be forced to arbitrate their claims due to contractual agreements with their employers. This was discussed recently by a New Jersey court. If you lost your job after sustaining injuries at work, it is wise to meet with a skillful New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to determine your options.
The Plaintiff’s Claims
It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a production manager at a facility owned by the defendant, a company that made and sold vegan products. In October 2018, while using a machine designed to mold cookies, the plaintiff severely injured his hand. As such, he filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Less than two weeks after his injury, he was terminated. He then filed a lawsuit in a New Jersey federal court alleging, in part, that he was terminated in retaliation for seeking workers’ compensation benefits, in violation of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act.
Allegedly, the defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims and enforce a provision of an employment agreement that required the plaintiff to arbitrate certain claims. The court ultimately found that the agreement was enforceable and applied to the subject claims, and dismissed the case. (more…)