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Amazon strives to be the most customer-centric company on the planet. But one employee of the mega-retailer is wishing the company took better care of its workers as well. Bryan Hill from Seffner, Florida is suing the online retailer for firing him after he hurt his back on the job and complained to his managers.
Hurt Lifting Packages
Bryan Hill worked for Amazon in one of their flex centers, lifting heavy packages. After being on the job for about six months, he hurt his back while at work, just before Hurricane Irma shut down his warehouse. Once the warehouse reopened, he told his managers about his back injury, informing them that he was still in pain.
Managers Never Filed Workers Comp Claim
According to Hill's lawsuit, his managers never filed a worker's compensation claim, could not provide the appropriate paperwork so that Hill could file the claim himself, and merely asked the worker to write down how he had gotten hurt on a note pad. One manager also allegedly told Hill that he was "too young to have back problems."
At one point, Hill tried to see a doctor to whom his managers referred him, but was not allowed to. Since his managers never filed his worker's comp claim, Amazon's HR department wouldn't authorize the doctor's visit.
Instead of a medical authorization or a worker's comp claim, Hill found out he was fired by looking on an internal Amazon website. Now he's suing the giant company for illegally firing him and for failing to initiate his worker's compensation claim. Hill's attorney argued, "the message they're sending is, if you file a claim your job is in jeopardy." Hill is seeking $15,000 in back pay, lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
It is, in fact, illegal to fire someone for filing a worker's compensation claim. If you were hurt on the job, believe you were wrongfully terminated, or you're an employer unsure how to proceed with an issue, contact an attorney who can advise you of your rights and discuss your options.