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  1. #1
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    Oct 2020
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    Default Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    My question involves workers compensation law for the state of: Arizona

    I apologize this post might be slightly long as it requires an extensive backstory.

    My husband started working as a contract employee for a large hospital in 2004 or 2005. His job had two parts to it essentially where he would go to one of the hospitals in the morning to work for a few hours and then drive around a specified area during the day to do the same job but in homes not a hospital. This went on for 12-13 years the entire time being just a contract employee still and never offered any type of benefits. The hospital employees of course all had great health benefits and state retirement benefits so 12 years of missed state retirement years.
    The company was changing ownership I believe or getting ready to and there were some audits that took place and they scrambled suddenly to offer him full time employment and stated that it must be done before December 31st of that year I think it was 2017 but may have been 2016.. it was already November at that time. So they converted him to a full time employee but he was still doing the exact same job. When tax documents arrived he was a bit screwed because they gave him a W-2 for the entire year instead of 1099 for the first 11 months and W-2 for the last month which is what we expected so he had paid in zero taxes and couldn't deduct things he normally was able to. So anyhow we suspected something off there.

    At some point the hospital decided they would no longer send technicians into homes so he was told he would no longer go to houses and drive around and would only go to the one facility in the am and then work the rest of the shift at the main hospital.

    His duties at the hospital he works at in the morning have always been the same even when he was contract all those years, nothing about that morning routine has ever changed. He has to go into patients rooms and kneel at their bedside in order to obtain specimens from them. He let supervisors in that facility and his main facility know for several years that the situation needs to change and that kneeling at a patients bedside is NOT okay. He requested staff to bring patents out of the room, he requested a stool, he requested an area to sit or let the patient sit. All of his requests were ignored. One time a few years ago they had someone from occupational therapy that was supposed to shadow him. The person followed him into one room, saw how it was, and said oh no this cant continue I will make my report. Nothing ever came of it at all and then the hospital changed hands.

    In 2018 he was experiencing terrible knee pain and his knee was making noise. He finally had insurance from being an employee and went in for an MRI. He had multiple tears in his knee and went through several months of physical therapy. This was supposed to go down as a work related injury. There was a mix up with insurance and paperwork and we got a bill. Human Resources said they would fix everything.. well they finally did after a long time but the bill went to collection and now we have to fight to have the collection removed even though supposedly its all been fixed.
    The ortho doctor told him that he can rehabilitate but that as long as nothing changes in his work routine it will just happen again and again. So flash forward to present and he had to have an MRI in the other knee which also has damage. This time the Ortho sent a letter to his department stating he needs a stool and cannot continue to work the way he has been. NOTHING CHANGED, its like it wasn't even acknowledged. So he will be seeing ortho for probably physical therapy on that knee now but this week the first knee is swollen again and making a terrible noise when he walks. We have young children and he cant play around with them or lift them walking up stairs because his knees.

    My husband is a foreigner, born and raised in the Philippines and so he was under the impression that if you have a job you just shut your mouth and do your job no matter what and not really aware of his rights. I don't even know where to begin.. I have been told by friends that the contract thing going on for so many years was wrong and that he should have been a benefitted employee with the retirement everyone else had. I feel like they have definitely taken advantage of him over the years. His pay decreased a lot when they made him a full time employee. And this work related injury situation doesn't look like is going to improve unless we get legal help.

    If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    Quote Quoting sunshinej
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    In 2018 he was experiencing terrible knee pain and his knee was making noise. He finally had insurance from being an employee and went in for an MRI. He had multiple tears in his knee and went through several months of physical therapy. This was supposed to go down as a work related injury. There was a mix up with insurance and paperwork and we got a bill. Human Resources said they would fix everything.. well they finally did after a long time but the bill went to collection and now we have to fight to have the collection removed even though supposedly its all been fixed.
    The ortho doctor told him that he can rehabilitate but that as long as nothing changes in his work routine it will just happen again and again. So flash forward to present and he had to have an MRI in the other knee which also has damage. This time the Ortho sent a letter to his department stating he needs a stool and cannot continue to work the way he has been. NOTHING CHANGED, its like it wasn't even acknowledged. So he will be seeing ortho for probably physical therapy on that knee now but this week the first knee is swollen again and making a terrible noise when he walks. We have young children and he cant play around with them or lift them walking up stairs because his knees.
    Why do you think that? Was a workers' compensation claim filed? I doubt it was because if so his medical wouldn't have been paying for it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    Medical didn't pay for it.. thats why we got a bill. The hospital was supposed to cover it. And they did after fixing the paperwork. And yes a claim was filed with employee health.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    Quote Quoting sunshinej
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    Medical didn't pay for it.. thats why we got a bill. The hospital was supposed to cover it. And they did after fixing the paperwork. And yes a claim was filed with employee health.
    What you need to find out is if a Workers' Compensation claim was ever filed.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    I already know it was filed. And there is another one currently being taken care of for the other knee. The employee health department at the hospital he works for takes care of the claims.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    Are you asking about the employer not following the ortho doctor's work restrictions?

    If so you husband needs a copy of them in his pocket and the next time they want him to do work that isn't allowed by those restrictions he needs to contact the employee health department you mentioned.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    Its part of his job every morning. He would not be able to do his current morning assignment with them at all if they follow the restriction. So thats the issue we are having. He has given the a copy to HR, to employee health, and to his direct supervisor. But NOTHING has been done about it and its just continue on as usual.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Where Do We Even Begin - Contracts, Retirement, Work Injuries

    The employer doesn't have to allow him to work with the restriction. They can send him to the house or reassign him.

    He needs to find out who the work comp insurance adjuster is and give him/her a call and explain the situation.

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