Can I sue my employer for negligence?

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Can I sue my employer for negligence?

I work for an overnight express shipping company. It had me working even though I was in no physical condition to be at work; I had a herniated disk and couldn’t even stand up straight. However, if I didn’t work I would be fired. I have paperwork stating that I shouldn’t have been loading and many co-workers witnessed managers not providing me with lighter work.

Asked on July 12, 2014 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You chose to work; the fact that you chose to do so, even if you were worried about your job, means that your employer would almost certainly not be liable. When a person freely chooses to do something that injures them, with knowledge that it may injure them, any resulting injury is their responsibility; and under the law, choosing to do (to you) dangerous work even if you believe you'd be fired if you did not is to freely choose to do it. (Alternatively, for example, you could have refused to do this work, and then, if fired, possibly brought a suit for disability-based discrimination; you also could have called out sick, used sick leave, used FMLA leave, etc.)

Furthermor, if your job was to lift or move heavy things, then your employer would not have been required to make up or create a different job for you, or to pay you for not doing your job; the employer may require you to do the job for which you  were hired.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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