Inguinal Hernia From Work Injury
I thought I had suffered a strain until an MD in an urgent care center told me it was a work related left side inguinal hernia.
I reported it immediately to my supervisor who told me that when I was ready for the surgery to have it repaired, he would "take care of me."
I knew that even with workers comp I would be facing financial disaster with the lost pay for time away from work. Plus, I had "issues" with surgery. I looked in vain for a Dr. that could repair it laproscopically, which could have got me back to work much quicker.
I saw several surgeons, none were acceptable. Then, my wife lost her job and several other factors put me working 3 jobs for a while. All this with the hernia pain.
I maintained my primary position and my wife found work. I quit the part time work and concentrated on my career.
10 years went by. Several merit increases and perfect attendance awards were my compensation. Then, other medical problems started eating away, sending me home with incapacitating pain, but not from the work related hernia.
I had medication to help me. Physical therapy, etc. for other non work related problems.
My supervisor demanded an accounting of all these activities. When I did, I was not given any encouragement. In one instance, I was humiliated by my lead person who was allowed to speak about me to co-workers in a manner not tolerated by "official" rules that got others terminated.
Anyone ever forced into accepting FMLA or be terminated because of a work related injury/illness that went unreported to proper state authorities?
Ever have your Dr. write out specific instructions on the FMLA documents directing your HR manager or supervisor to allow you to work until THE CO. DR. could do the surgical repair, then BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO RETURN TO YOUR JOB? PLUS DENIED THE WORKERS COMP CLAIM?
Yes, there were guidelines for me to return to work, but nothing that the company could say were to restricted as they allow younger employees to work with more restrictions than I had.
THE COMPANY WOULD NOT ALLOW ME TO RETURN PERIOD. Then, later lied by stating that I told them I was in to much pain to work under any conditions to State Investigators! The truth was that I was denied access to work and called a " safety hazard."
The hernia was repaired, but not as promised by the HR manager. I had a private Dr. repair it.
While recuperating from this, I saw a specialist about my hands. They did tests & x-rays and determined my "job" was over. I now collect SSD as a result. The Co. could not "reasonably accommodate" me.
So, instead of retiring me with honor, as I was disabled, they terminated me the day my FMLA protection expired, even though I had over two weeks of vacation coming to me. I got paid for it, but my COBRA event started the day my FMLA expired.
I do not enjoy the benefits of others who retired due to age or disability.
Workers Compensation came to my rescue because I asked the Fraud & non-compliance department to help. They gave me the forms to file the claim. The one I thought was filed in November, 1990. Or maybe when I turned in the FMLA documents.
Its been over a year since the surgery, and the complications of the hernia are still a part of my every day life. I have to see a specialist or more than one to get these complications analyzed and maybe repaired. My attorney filed a separate claim on this just a few weeks ago.
My main problem? There isn't any money to do all this. I can't afford these specialists. My private insurance carrier won't cover them at the low rate as they are "out of the system" doctors.
So, maybe they have won! TIME IS ON THEIR SIDE! The longer they take, the less money I have to fight with because I still have a home to pay for and no practical way to ever return to a significant position due to my medical problems.
Blame? Try the system that wont make medical professionals report work related illness/injuries to the State just as they are required to report gunshot injuries or other similar ones.
This would force the issue to the center of the table, instead of allowing managers or supervisors the priviledge of denying claims, essentially eliminating them from the equation altogether.
This needs to be a decision made by a medical professional and their client.
Of course, this would not stop the more employee unfriendly organizations from giving any employee that is sick and requests permission to leave due to illness a choice between being terminated or to try & find a doctor to complete the complicated papers of FMLA and/or disability insurance claim forms.