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Workmen's Comp Massachusetts

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  • Workmen's Comp Massachusetts

    My husband was stung by 72 wasps while at work and almost lost his life. After being released from the hospital and being out of work for a week to allow some medicines to work out of his system, we returned to the doctor and received a note to return to work.

    When we forwarded the note to his work it became quite a controversy. We were receiving letter from workmen's comp for access to all his lifetime medical records and his employer's thought it best that he return after all his follow-up appointments had been met. This would have been fine had workmen's comp been able to continue to pay him. However that wasn't the case so we returned to the doctors for another specific note stating he was able to return to work and perform all duties.

    He was at work for 3 1/2 days when they let him know that he no longer "fit the bill". He was to much of a risk because of the bees and the medications that he was on as a result of the stings.

    My question is this: Is the termination legal on these grounds if he has been cleared by a doctor to return to work? The only stipulation that we required as far as the bees was to have another person there when starting a machine and obviously someone else would have to do the spraying for bees. As far as the medication, the doctor stated in the note returning my husband to work that they would not affect his ability.

  • #2
    This isn't strictly a WC issue, it is more of an ADA one. It sounds like he was terminated not for having filed a WC claim but because he could no longer start some machine or spray for bees. Neither of these activities would qualify him as disabled under FMLA. Neither starting a machine nor spraying for bees is a major life function. If these were essential functions of his job, even if they did rise to the level of a disability, the employer would not have to eliminate them to accomodate him. Not knowing what your husband did for a living or how often he needed to start th machine or spray, it is very hard to say for sure. Was there alerady someone readily available that could do these things?

    As for lost time, if his employer wouldn't let him return post-accident, that time should be paid by the WC carrier. I'd call them and ask.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.