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Employer's policy violated workers' compensation rights

Whenever a new employee starts his or her job, they often have many things to learn and usually a set amount of time to do so. If a company's new hire policy violates any laws, such as occupational injury regulations, however, an employee can stand up for his rights. One such case was recently decided in a court. This ruling could potentially impact employees everywhere, including those in Colorado.

The court ruling was based on the situation that one such new hire found himself in. This man was hired by a grocery distribution center and was in the position of order selector. This position requires the use of motorized vehicles that transport pallets containing products that are being readied for shipment. During one shift that occurred almost at the end of the 90-day probation period for new employees, the man injured his foot while on the job. He reported the incident, received treatment for his foot injury and was off of the job for a couple of shifts.

Unfortunately for this employee, he was found by the employer to be in violation of this company's new worker policy which stated that any injury that occurred by not following their safety regulations while on the 90-day probation period was subject to being terminated. The company claimed that the man was injured through his own fault and he was fired. However, the court in his state has ruled that the company policy was not valid in that it threatened loss of job in the event of an injury.

As this company has found out, it cannot threaten any employee with loss of a job due to a work-related injury. Workers' compensation benefits exist to help workers financially after suffering an injury on the job. If any worker in Colorado believes that they have suffered a workplace injury and they are being threatened with termination or any other violation of their rights, they may have recourse in a civil court of law.

Source: courthousenews.com, "Workers' Comp policy harmed newer hires," Marlene Kennedy, July 9, 2013