Former Employee Claims He Was Fired Due to an Injury

A Fresno County man has filed a lawsuit against his former employer with allegations of disability discrimination.

In a case filed in Fresno County Superior Court on Dec 22, 2017, Enrique Lobato is suing Olam West Coast Inc. and David Iniguez through Does 1 to 20. He alleges that the company acted in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

In a statement recorded by the complainant, Lobato had worked for Olam West Coast since 2002. The suit further claims that on May 30, 2017, Lobato incurred injuries as he was fixing a machine at his place of work. Consequently, he was taken to a hospital where part of his injured finger was amputated.

The suit says that Lobato was sent on a one week leave and later returned to work with restrictions. Lobato claims that upon returning to work, the defendant did not permit him to perform his duties and would not even discuss his work restrictions. He was later terminated on June 13, 2017, a move that Lobato claims was due to his disability and inability to carry out his job duties.

The plaintiff further alleges that the defendants failed to create a favorable working condition and relationship to allow him to perform his duties safely and without discrimination. The defendant also failed to take any appropriate action with regards to workplace discrimination.

Through a jury trial, Lobato seeks compensation for exemplary and punitive damages, attorney’s fees, cost of suit, reinstatement of his job, and any other relief that the court deems just and proper. Attorney Amanda B. Whitten from Bryant Whitten, LLP based in Fresno is representing the plaintiff.

Why You Need a Workplace Injury Attorney

The California law offers certain legal rights and protection for anyone injured at work. The California Labor Code offers protection from dismissals due to injuries or disabilities occasioned by on-the-job injuries. However, some employers still disregard the law, and that’s why you need a certified workers’ compensation attorney to help you claim your legal rights.

If you sustain a work-related injury, your employer is required to offer workers’ compensation benefits depending on the severity of your injury. It’s illegal to dismiss or discriminate an employee even after claiming workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace injury in California. Again, after returning to work, your employer should not assign you duties that violate the work restrictions placed by your doctor.