Broken-Footed Worker being pressured to stay home

I work for a contract company, within a school district.

Ten days ago I broke my foot at home. I immediately told my employer and the personell school district I work in.

No one was sent to help me. I started back to work with a cast. I could not physically drive, or carry items. I had to take a day off to see a doctor about my foot. Members of the school district called repeatedly saying that I need to come in. When I came in for an hour between appointments, I was approached by a school district employee who accused me of saying something negative about him to a kitchen manager. He started using profanity. I asked him several times to stop. I called my boss, and the business manager to discuss his behavior. A meeting was called. I asked that the meeting be in my office since I have a broken foot.

The day of the meeting, I was told I would have to go to the principals office. (This is very far away from my office, and I was on crutches) When my boss and I got to the principals office, I was told that the meeting was actually "up the hall". I followed slowly on my crutches to the other side of the school. When I got there my hands were bruised and blistered. It was approximately 1000 feet from my office. The business manager when discussing the profanity, used the word over and over again, and told me that he was disappointed because the employee did not use the word directed at me. Suddenly issues with my work performance were brought up. The employee was not written up for the profanity. I was told that now I must stand in the stockroom to check in boxes,that I was expected to visit the school kitchens more often this was not part of my job duties before.It is immposible to do with my broken foot. No one helped me return to my office.

It is obvious that they are trying to pressure me to quit/go on leave. I took pictures of my blistered hands, one is the size of a quarter. Now it will be very painful to use my crutches. There were six other people at the meeting. Two of which, I am sure would give a statement about the repeating of the obsenity, and the great distance I was forced to crutch.

I am so depressed, I called my Employee Assistance Program to arrange therapy

1 answer  |  asked Sep 13, 2005 7:18 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
An employer cannot force you to do a job that hurts you

Your employer is being a pig, but all is not lost.

A recent appellate court decision out of Franklin County held that Honda of America violated an employee's rights by firing her for refusing to work in an environment that it knew was harmful to her. The court held in that case that firing an employee who is at special risk of injury for refusing to do the job that would injur her violated established public policy in Ohio requiring a safe workplace.

You have other issues going on with this employer, such as its apparent effort to make you quit. Resist quitting, stopping short of hurting yourself. You should also consider taking steps to protest the employer's conduct and placing it on notice that it is violating your rights. This might make the conduct stop and, failing that, will lay the foundation for a punitive damages claim once it continues.

Do not, however, treat or accept this message as legal advise. Please read the disclaimer on this site (especially the part about being foolish to rely on internet advise). You need a particularized strategy to protect your rights in this situation, since you are still employed and are at risk of getting hurt.

If you would like a consultation, contact me via email,, or call me at 330.665.5445, ext. 2. My consultation fee is $200.00.

Best regards,


posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Sep 14, 2005 1:16 PM [EST]

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