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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:33 PM

 

Get injured off the job, in some workplaces you can lose your job.

Just got done having a new dryer delivered today, the old one had finally crapped out after thirty five years. Anyway, two delivery guys roll up through the snow to do the job. As they are scouting the route they need to take the dryer, which is down to the basement, one of them asks if I could give them a hand at the bottom end, getting the dryer off the landing. It seems that one of the guys had broken his hand, and knee, and a rib. I said sure, no problem, after all, the main reason I had them deliver the dryer was so that I could have them haul the old one away.

Of course I had to ask the guy with the broken bones how he had broken them, which was by falling off a nine foot deck. As we talked a bit more, he told me that his other employer, Wendy's, had fired him the other day. I asked why, and he said that it was because he hadn't called in first thing to explain why he wasn't showing up for his shift. Never mind that he was in the hospital, never mind that he had be immediately doped up to the gills for pain, never mind that he was dealing with three broken bones, they canned him.

It simply amazes me how cruel and heartless employers are becoming. Yes, there were always assholes who would do such things, but it seems that they are proliferating more and more. The attitude is becoming that you are essentially on the job, having to think of your employer first and foremost, day and night, no matter what. A few years back I had a potential employer who was shocked when I didn't have a cell phone, and told me that I just had to get one. All for a summer job cutting grass in a cematary. Needless to say, I didn't take that job.

So here was this poor guy, banged up all to hell, delivering major appliances in the snow, because he needed the money from his part time job because his full time job had fired him, all due to the fact that he didn't immediately call in after the accident. Bastards.

I told the guy to take a break, have some coffee, and the first guy and I would take care of the dryer situation. He didn't need to be heaving and hauling in his condition. Afterward, we talked some more about how heartless employers are becoming these days, commiserated about broken bones, and sent them both off with a generous tip.

It still burns me how these assholes can get away with that sort of shit. I did mention getting a lawyer, but he doesn't have money for that, there are no low cost legal services in rural areas, and besides, Wendy's, like other such corporations, have deep pockets when it comes to protecting their desire to screw over low wage workers.

I would say that I'm now going to boycott Wendy's, but hell, I haven't eaten there in decades, so that's pointless. But it is a small town, so I just might walk in next week and give the franchise owner a piece of my mind.

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Reply Get injured off the job, in some workplaces you can lose your job. (Original post)
MadHound Feb 2013 OP
SmileyRose Feb 2013 #1
MadHound Feb 2013 #2
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #8
lynne Feb 2013 #3
TheMastersNemesis Feb 2013 #4
siligut Feb 2013 #5
Lady Freedom Returns Feb 2013 #7
Lady Freedom Returns Feb 2013 #6

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:36 PM

1. It was always like this.

The people who sign the paychecks have always been jerks. That's how unions came to be in the first place.

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Response to SmileyRose (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:40 PM

2. Oh, I'm no doubting that there have always been asshole employers,

 

But it seems as though they are becoming more and more prevalent, turning the screws tighter and tighter these day. During the late nineties, when unemployment was low, employers couldn't afford to be assholes, because they knew that if they were, their employees would walk, and they wouldn't have a problem finding a job the next day, while the employer would be scrambling for weeks or months trying to find new employees.

Back in the seventies and eighties, while there were jerks, they seemed much fewer and further between. Now it seems as though they are everywhere.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:33 PM

8. A lot of employers/managers these days are also getting there in a society half-used to this

I'm 32, and a lot of people around my age are used to the (incredibly incorrect) belief that employees just don't have rights, that employers can jerk them around for whatever they want, that someone can get fired for saying anything about it, etc. Reasonable enough belief, between the fact that there are active attempts to erode those rights, and that the entry-level stuff a lot of people a few years my junior are getting into these days play fast and loose with labour laws in the first place.

Fast forward a bit, when people who worked in those sorts of environments are now managing those sorts of environments. A lot of them are just going to keep carrying on with those attitudes, including dispensing the bad parts of them, simply because that's what they had to put up with as employees. The idea that they had a broad set of protections as an employee, and that they have a broad set of obligations as an employer, may simply never, ever have appeared on their radar in the first place.

A lot of them are just assholes, as you say, but I've also had to explain at length to an astonished supervisor how overtime provisions in provincial labour laws here work, as it had never once occurred to him that no, we aren't allowed to sign OT rights away period. He had in previous jobs because his bosses took it for granted that they could, and tried to pass that on to us.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:45 PM

3. This isn't new. I saw this done 20 years ago -

- where a woman injured her back outside of work and couldn't work for an extended period of time. It was several months before she would be able to return part time on light duty. The employer had to have her job done so it was necessary to replace her with someone that could do the work.

Not sure what options an employer has other than retain them on the rolls without pay after their sick leave is done.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:49 PM

4. Nationally The GOP Is Installing A Right To Work For Less As "Work At Will" Becomes More Entrenched.

Now that there is virtually no enforcement of our labor laws in many states. Try to get stolen pay and you will find out that it is now a lost cause now that GOP austerity has resulted in the abolishment of wage and labor enforcers. It is bad for business. And stolen wages now are part of business policy and practice.

And that is just a start. As far as injury is concerned on or off the job, you are pretty much finished if the injury is serious enough to keep you off the job or unable to perform your tasks. Since I retired in 1998 the situation for workers is so bad that job security is in critical condition. There is none.

"Work at will" is the law of economics in the new economy. The way it works either worker or employer can break the employment contract. The problem is that the employer holds ALL the power in just about every situation.

That is why a worker has to consider their outside activities and assess the risk of injury. The worker is totally unprotected now by ANY sickness or injury no matter how minor.

Even if you could find a lawyer you are not likely to win and the victory would yield little money. Right now you are very unlikely to find a lawyer or friendly court these days either. Plus you will be faced with years even decades of litigation with endless delays.

I am sure as we speak that the GOP is pushing legislation that will make the plaintiff pay the expenses if they lose. That is called "tort reform".

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:59 PM

5. Employees as worker ants

The new business model. Plenty of people to replace you if you aren't up to snuff.

I would think that in a small town, this would be less common.

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Response to siligut (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:18 PM

7. No, it's worse.

They know they are the only game in town.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:15 PM

6. My father was injured on the job and got fired for it.

He took a fall at work. It was a night janitor job. People came to work the next day to find him not able to get up. he had a broken hip and two broken bones in his back. The day he got home from the hospital, the boss came out to the house to fire him. My father sued them, it took 5 years and finally lost. The Corporation had a right to do so due to needing able bodied people to do the work and had no time to wait to see if he could do the work. And since there was no union involved, there really was nothing that could be done for his side. It all was a big mess.

But during those 5 years he could not find a job. He found out that there was some things he could not do anymore. he could on lift 15 pounds at a time, and that was with the restriction of doing it only a couple of times in a few hour period. He tried to find work, but with his back and hip none would hire him. He finally had to see about disability. That also took forever. My Mother's health was also failing and we also has the addition of my sister. It was a long hard time in my family.

This all started in the Reagan era, finished (if you want call it finished) in the first and only G.H Bush term. It was when I saw the damage that the Conservative way of thinking was. This idea that people should just pull themselves up was hurting us. We were at a point we had no "Boot straps" left.

My father being a good Republican went along with this thinking. He thought that he was less of a man to be asking for help ( that self dependant thing that the Conservative preach), so he held off to the point we had no electricity, gas, water, food. It was thanks to my grandmother and my mother that we owned the house. If not, we would have been on the street.

Now with Unions getting broken and with Big Businesses finding other ways to get people to work more for less, we are going to see more of the OP. And with people still falling for the "morals" of the Conservatives, we will never get out of this mess.

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