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California woman fired over work injury wins lawsuit

A jury made a substantial statement against a company in a recent California civil case verdict. In the June 21 decision, the jury awarded the woman an $8.5 million judgment against her former employer. The woman stated in her lawsuit that she was fired after suffering a work injury.

The woman, who had been working for the company since 1989, was injured in 2005 and fired in 2009 after being on extended leave. The woman claimed she was entitled to be reinstated to her previous position as a shift supervisor at the company. The woman further claimed that if reinstatement was not possible, she should have been given an alternative job she would be able to perform despite her disability.

The refinery did not refute the worker's claims about being fired due to her injury. They claimed she was fired in 2009 due to the fact that her condition had not improved. The company claims there was no position for the woman to be placed in because of her apparent inability to perform certain duties and that she was not qualified for other jobs within the company.

Every California worker is entitled to proper compensation for a work injury suffered in the course of their employment. When an individual is ready to return to work, he or she is entitled to be reinstated to the original position provided he or she is able to perform the required duties. A company that does not follow these rules or that fails to make accommodations for their employee may face serious financial penalties if the case is taken to court.

Source: KSBY.com, "Judge awards millions to woman injured at work was fired," June 22, 2012

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