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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default BWC/Employer issues

    I'll try to make this to the point as possible. I'm a union electrician in Ohio. I hurt my back in 4/2006. It was conveinent that the incident happened right in front of the boss. I didn't seek medical help until a month later because in my line of work Im used to working with aches and pains, but this pain was too extreme and legthy to accept. My boss recieved the first report of injury but never filed my claim, I had to file it myself. Xrays and an mri were done right away. Mri results showed bulging at L3-L4 and L4-L5. I immediately started therapy and continued for a month until I was able to "deal with the pain." During that month my employer did nothing to accomodate my light duty, in faced he decreased my crew to just me so I had to do everything myself. (I am a foreman/project manager)I walked off the job till a week until he agreed to give me the crew i needed. I finished the project and told him I needed a break from being a foreman. Everything was cool until December. In december I started another project as a foreman. I was solo again and asked to do virtually the entire job alone. I asked for additional help. I was told he doesn't have any body. My back really started hurting again in January worse than it ever did. and I started seeing my dr again. Since then I have had another mri which now shows herniation at L-4/L-5, I've been off work twice 30 days each. Asked to work beyond the light duty and sedentary work restrictions that were set by the dr. Harassed by my employer and supervisors, Badgered about how much money I'm costing the company. Ive asked my boss that the harassment stop two different times. Initially he said I had to deal with it. The second time he agreed to have it taken care of. This injury is taken its toll on my physically and mentally, not only has it gotten worse I don't know if I'll be able to continue working as an electrician. I have been seeing a counselor for about 6 weeks now for depression. I have filed a complaint with my union and the eeoc about the harassment. I have evidence that my boss is sharing my bwc and medical information with my co-workers. My boss is also telling bwc that they have tried to accomodate my restrictions but I have turned them down not shown up for work and sometimes even leave early. While this is true. I didn't show up because My back hurt so bad from performing duties not in my restrictions and left early for therapy, I never turned down any work. My depressioin is starting to turn to rage and anger, I am scheduled to go back to work Monday June 4. I can foresee my workplace being nothing but a hostile environment. I have done nothing wrong except try to be a good worker. My boss looks at my injury as a personal attack on him. I am only folllowing the bwc laws. I do have an attorney. He doesn't seem like he wants to deal with the harassment issues. He says dont worry about it. Can I file a charge against my employer for disclosing my private medical info to my co-workers? How should I deal with the return to work? I can only see this getting worse. When I really think about it I get so enraged its crazy. Sorry it was so long. Any input would be great.
    Last edited by websytemike; 05-30-2007 at 10:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    924

    Exclamation Re: BWC/Employer issues

    The first answer I give you is going to be very obvious, you need a w/c certified attorney and now!! Number 2 you are not required by law to do more than your work restrictions. If they don't have a job within your restrictions, you are to be placed at TTD and receive compensation from Workers Comp. You may have already hurt your case by working above your restrictions, that's why you need counsel quick!! I wish the Best for you and hope it's not too late!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: BWC/Employer issues

    I do have a w/c attorney. And I may have worded my thread wrong I didn't work outside my restrictions. The boss was trying to get me to work beyond them. The part about me missing work was because I was in 2 much pain and on perscrip. meds to go to work. Im really concerned about the confidentiallity of me medical info and the transition back to work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,923

    Default Re: BWC/Employer issues

    Your boss has no business sharing your private medical information with other employees. This is not only unethical since the HIPPA laws went into effect it is illegal as well. Seeins how your current attorney is unwilling to get involved you need to seek out the help of your union. You might want to look for general practive attorney as far as the violation of privacy with your medical information. At least for a consultation. Why is your physician allowing you to continue to work in a very hazzardous position when your pain level is bad enough to have to take pain medication? And what does your WC attorney have to say about this?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: BWC/Employer issues

    My dr has made no issue about the meds. I am not having to rely on them so much now. My dr did take me off work completely when the boss starteted "pushing" me beyond the restrictions. I have made my case to the union and I was told that they spoke with my boss about the issues. I havn't spoke to my boss since this complaint because I have been off work for 4 weeks now but I am due to go back on mon june 4. So I guess my next option is to see a labor attorney???. I have worked for my boss for 7 years and I know he dispises w/c claims and complaints to the local union hall. I know my days are numbered as far as employment goes. He will most definately lay me off due to "lack of work"(yeah right) when he has the chance. I just want to protect and look out for myself, because I know there is nobody else doing it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,078

    Default Re: BWC/Employer issues

    Workers comp is excluded from HIPAA.
    You may have some state or BWC protections
    http://www.ohiobwc.com/provider/serv...rules/a15.html

    or try the search feature on the BWC website
    http://www.ohiobwc.com/home/search/search.aspx

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: BWC/Employer issues

    hi, i,d like to share with you my ordeal with employer. i was injured almoat 10 years ago right after i had surgery my boss told me that there was no place for me at where i worked. also he told me that he couldn't allow the issue of my injured back come back to work because of no light duty or restrictions that i was given. there it is no job and nothin but a big world i'm in now and felt like i didn't belong in anymore. and to a certian point was treated the same way bye many people, lost a few friends at work for they weren't allowed to talk to me for reasons i don't know. but as i stated it's been 10 years and i was placed on p/t/d by i/c,have fought them tooth and nail just for decent medical care. i've finally got a dr. that seems to care been seeing me for 3 or 4 years and has helped me alot. now i was recently told bye i/c to see an v r person to see if i could return to work, now this is after 10 years and 3 ruptured disc massive scar tissue and a real messed up back that gives me all the pain i can handle when it's not inflamed and the nerves are on fire all the way down my legs but you learn to deal with it you have no choice. i take meds for it but nothing will really stop nerve damage some things will help and thank god for those. including my dr. do different types of shot prosedures from time to time, which gets me bye for about 8 to 10 months.
    oh qwell didn't mean to go on with my problems, this is the first time i ever posted on this web site but have been reading them for several years. when i couldn't sleep i would come here and read everyone elses post and relize i'm not along in this there's alot of people out there that has thier own personal crosses to carry and my heart goes out to them. but as far as your job, please don't quit make them lay you off or tell you you can't work there anymore because of your injury.that way you can't lose any earnings as little as they are you should recieve. an employer could make up anything about you quitting and mite could hurt your case.( don't know for sure if it would but wouldn't want to take that chance) as far as coworkers just tell them that at one time you weren't hurt and it can happen to anyone, and it can be very quick that you don't relize it until it's done, and tell them you wouldn't wish it one anyone. but that really gets hard to say after awhile being treated like a criminal. but thats just something we all go through, hope you get everything you deserve and you get the best medical treatment out there. sorry about this being so long but guess just wanted to talk only if just typing it down good luck and hang in there yesterday gone tommorrow will never get here so get up and get a good start on today and you got it whiped. or it helps me get through the ruff days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: BWC/Employer issues

    Thanks for the replies. So Ive been off work on ttd since may 4 and awaiting an appeal hearing to allow an additional condition of herniated disc versus just a lumbar strain or sprain. My boss requested an independent medical examination. So that set the appeal hearing back. Not only that my boss appealed workers comp's decision to pay me my wagges while i'm on tdtd. So my choices are to go back to work under restrictions and take a chance on my boss saying he cant accomodate me and therefor remain on ttd without compensation for who knows how long. Or go back to work full duty with a little soreness and tightness in my back and probably get laid off. My company is very slow right now and I do foresee me getting the axe which is what I would like to have happen because if I stay any longer than I have to I'm going to end up kicking everybodys ass. Those of you that have dealt with any of this know where I'm comin from. So I called my boss and told him I'm ready to come back to work but I still have tightness and a little pain and will remain on therapy. He wanted me to know he was happy I was feeling better. (what a snake) He said he would call me this weekend and let me know what jobsite I would b working on. I'll keep u guys posted.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,923

    Default Re: BWC/Employer issues

    Quote Quoting .SH View Post
    Workers comp is excluded from HIPAA.
    You may have some state or BWC protections
    http://www.ohiobwc.com/provider/serv...rules/a15.html

    or try the search feature on the BWC website
    http://www.ohiobwc.com/home/search/search.aspx
    Sorry SH but although HIPPA excludes WC where devulging informaiton to the IC and ER is okay IT IS NOT OKAY FOR THE ER TO SHARE THIS MANS MEDICAL INFORMATION WITH HIS CO WORKERS. I don't care how you slice it.

    Web you need to go on and talk to an attorney and get his/her take on it all.

    Take Care,

    Steel

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    924

    Lightbulb Re: BWC/Employer issues

    Good Post Steel!! Again your insight is right on the mark. Web you should listen and get an attorney to help you with this before it's too late!!

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