When the economy begins to slow down, one may wonder about the security of his or her job. When job security is in question, employers seem to have the upper hand and should workplace injuries occur, the instance for the employer to nullify or downplay the severity of the injury can leave employees with less than the law allows. Maryland employees are guaranteed certain workplace rights should an on-the-job injury occur, and employers must abide by these laws.
A factory in another state is under investigation after repeatedly giving false information to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Not only has the company repeatedly ignored safety issues that have been brought to its attention, the business has been cited for over 240 safety violations. These oversights and blatant disregard for the employees’ safety has led to many workplace injuries and even deaths.
In 2015, a migrant worker had been employed by the factory in question was cleaning out a machine, just has his supervisor had shown him, when his foot slipped. The mishap caused the machine to roar to life, and upon doing so, trapped his left leg, which twisted until it snapped. The 17-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital where his lower leg had to be amputated. Once word got back to the management at the factory, all underage and undocumented employees were fired.
Regardless of the citizenship status of the employees, there are human rights laws in place to protect workers from negligent management and employers. When workplace injuries occur, Maryland employers have the obligation to make sure that they heed the warning and clear up the possibility of another worker experiencing the same fate. When employers continuously fail to rectify workplace dangers, the employee may have legal recourse through workers’ compensation benefits and other possible civil remedies.
Source: The New Yorker, “Exploitation and Abuse at the Chicken Plant“, Amy Collier, May 2, 2017