PTSD, Anxiety Treatment Covered Under Workers Comp for Store Manager
The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court ruled last year that a store manager who was shot 9 times for reporting an earlier robbery should receive temporary total disability benefits and workers comp to help his treatment. As of Friday, April 11th, of this year, the decision has been upheld by a higher court after the workers comp ruling was appealed.
Matthew Kim is, according to courts, entitled to workers comp and disability benefits to help treat his post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as coverage for his inpatient alcohol and drug abuse related to the shooting incident that occurred in June 2011.
The court also ruled that Kim was entitled to coverage of future medical expenses.
“He’s a pretty brave guy, to be treated this badly,” Dirk Block, an attorney for Kim, said. “It’s been very unfortunate that, in addition to having to face down those who tried to kill him, the employer’s insurance company made it so difficult for him.”
Kim has been unable to return to work for years because of trauma associated with the incident, including an overdose that sent him to the emergency room prior to his workers compappeal.
Kim had a doctor testify in court that he had been a recreational drug user before the shooting incident, but afterwards, he became addicted. However, the store, Gen-X and its workers comp insurer Farmer’s Truck Insurance Exchange, used that evidence to deny Kim necessary treatment under workers compensation disability coverage. Gen-X submitted a report from a psychiatrist saying that there was no evidence that Kim’s drug abuse was incited by the shooting. However, both the lower and higher courts supported Kim’s workers comp and disability filing.
“It remains very difficult for him to go out in public places,” Block said. “He still lives in fear and terror because of these threats.”
Employer Retaliation against Workers’ Comp Claim
As an injured worker, you may fear that your employer may retaliate against you for filing and seeking compensation for a workers’ compensation claim. Employees also worry about cooperating in the investigation of and/or testifying in support of an injured co-worker.
Most commonly, people think of workers’ comp retaliation as retaliatory discharge or firing an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Improper retaliation can fall short of termination, such as discrimination or harassment, and may include the following:
- demotion, negative reassignment, reclassification or transfer;
- unwarranted disciplinary action and/or negative performance evaluations;
- wage reductions, salary reductions or a reduction in the number of hours scheduled; or
- an unreasonable increase or decrease in job duties or responsibilities.
Most states have some legal remedy for injured workers retaliation. The right to sue for workers comp retaliation varies from state to state, so it is a good idea to consult a SC work injury lawyer to protect your rights for workplace injury.
Possible remedies may be available through state agencies and/or in court actions. Even where legislative action has not protected such workers, many state courts have allowed hurt workers to file retaliatory discharge lawsuits if they are retaliated against for seeking compensation for workplace accidents.
Because South Carolina, like Washington, is an at-will state, employers may still legitimately terminate or discipline any employee, regardless of workers’ compensation status. However, the employer’s reason for the negative action cannot be a pretext for workers’ compensation retaliation and the negative action may not violate any other employment law(s).
The Strom Law Firm Understands Worker’s Comp Legislation
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.