My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: OKLAHOMA
I had a foot injury to my pad(meta-tarsul) area, across and behind several toes over a nine week period of slow healing.
The initial injury was an innocuous 'snapping' of a ligament or bone during an early walk to my construction work station on a Monday, while inside a warehouse facility. I was only injured while working, in routine movements, initially when carrying a box of tools. I felt no pain, and no swelling immediately, but in several later days work on ladders, and, additionally, when a worker hopped from an adjacent ladder 2nd step(~2 feet up) onto the toes, I watched increasing swelling and pain with use. The supervisor watched the other worker hop down onto my foot, and I made aggressive complaint and explanation to all watching, in front of the supervisor who was just six feet away, watching and listening. That company rep. just turned and walked away.
After the initial injury of a 'snapped' part of my foot on the Monday, I changed to my new pair of 'sale priced' steel toed work boots which were at home in a box unused. I paid $10 dollars for them, but they appeared perfect in workmanship. On the day the worker hopped into my foot, I kneeled to work on a floor level panel, and the new boots bent along the middle of the foot pad, above all the toes, causing severe 'searing effects' as with torn tissues. Pain and further swelling happened, and I changed that next day to older used boots again.
Over the next nine weeks I was treated to silent walk-away responses as the only response by both the supervisor and the foreperson. It became an obvious pattern.
As I had never had a foot injury lasting more than a few days in my life of 35 years working, I tried to be accurate and restrained in my reportage verbally to the supervisor and the foreperson about three times a week.
Towards six to eight weeks I actually explained that I could not work on the ladders and offered to work on the lower sections of small buildings we manufacture. I kept my pace with others, and in all those weeks, I used my heel only to 'hobble' to work, and while working our ten hour construction shifts.
I described the swelling going to a rather low level at home, where I set up a sling and rested each night. As I worked each day, the work efforts caused swelling and pain for eight of the nine weeks I remained on the job. I reported verbally to the two in charge for the nine weeks. I was told near the end of the period in my first conversation with a hospital receptionist that I had to go to the company Worker Comp. group to consider an x-ray or other forced reportage on paper.
At that point I had been discussing the full detailed content with the ~15 workers around me, who had been watching the events, and looked at the foot a couple times with my socks off, so as to compensate for the lack of ongoing interest by the supervisor and foreperson. I smelled a 'rat' in the works with the simple refusal of the a written report by the company group, was warned along the nine weeks pattern about other co-workers experiences in having to hire lawyers to secure their jobs during injuries, and discussed the probability of a pattern of denial and discharge.
I was discharged in the first week of Jan., 2011, and was written up as a 'tardiness' discharged employee. No admission of the nine week injury has been allowed at the company, and I have recorded denials after discharge from the 'safety officer' who is a one day per week employee at another building. That 'safety representative' of the large federal standards sized corporation, was present in near silent presence during my discharge.
It was claimed later I was not allowed to be judged as being given allowance of the same number of 32 hours ' unpaid flex time off' for lateness as all the other hundred employees are allowed. That timing issued to each in new full amount on the New Years date, but was not allowed to myself in this years sequence. The denial of the pre-offered unpaid time was not written, but was a unwritten and unexpected occurance. A 'separate but unequal' measure of the 1-2 minute late clock-in in early Jan, 2011, was explained as my involuntary termination reason.
I did have a number of similar tardies during the prior year, but the counting is normally given an application of new total allowance each New Years. I never expired the allowed unpaid time total during my 5 years employment there.
Just the third week of Dec. in 2010, I was given a notice of possible discipline if I was late even once(one minute or more) in a one month period. That notice was issued at 7 1/2 weeks into the injury sequence.
I have not taken injury claims in the past against this employer, nor any others in 35 years. I have not had Worker Comp. in that time.
I take a few days per year off for illnesses, and a few for vacation in daily amounts, leaving most all paid time on the company books as due to me. I was due at the injury and discharge about 9 days at injury, and accrued 12 days paid allowed 'off' at the discharge. I thought I was safe from immediate discharge as the promise and pattern was to 'layoff' unpaid a worker for 1-3, or even a week, if discipline was conducted. After the discharge my unused 'paid time' was issued to me in large portion.
As this was an injury leading to a discharge with a transformed reasoning, and as the new but 'sale priced' steel toed work books were worn as new on the job at the injury occurrence, is there a product liability coverage with discounted boots, or, can the supervisor and foreperson be held as responsible for my lack of potential foretelling of the degree and longevity of the injury, and my lack of medical treatment of the foot damages?
I sought hospital referral to bone clinics towards the end, and was refused my paid medical requests, as they stated on the telephone I was to plead with the company. who, upon my contact refused all concern and coverage of the nine week sequence.
Is a discharge considered sufficient 'good cause' with repeated lateness of a minute to several minutes per week pattern despite allowed 'hours in counting', and can the injury be a matter which would never be considered if no clinics and doctors agree to be responsible for treatment?
Does a boot manufacturer or retailer carry full liability for injury if the use was routine and the product was on sale, or does the Worker Comp. detailing offer a coverage of a late attempted reportage by a forsaken and muted injured worker?
As I worked in Oklahoma, the OK Worker Compensation and labor practices applied.
Does OSHA give guidence in injury detailing, or, are the reportage processes of the US D.O.L. covering a large interstate shipper of a high dollar product, when reportage is denied by 'the silence treatment' response to workers attempted reportage to supervision and safety overseers?
How do I figure a boot product as partly liable, and is a receipt actually my only proof of purchase? Can liability or injury condition a company claim of termination for tardiness?
As I worked through this nine week ordeal, is my recovery lost in all matters?
My foot is still lumpy where the foot pad bones are conjoined above and behind the toes; 1/4" thick lumps and ridge behind several toes.
Is a lack of forward aggressive demanding control of this type of sequence a failing in any later action attempts?