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I was hurt on the job 5 years ago. I now have fewer hours than my coworkers. I am not being treated fairly. What can I do?

Loveland, OH |

I work in a "big box" store. I was hurt 5 years ago while stocking shelves when my shoestring got caught on a piece of equipment and tripped me up. I have since had surgery, and physical therapy paid for by workers comp. I now have arthritis in both my knees due to the injury and am in constant pain even with medication. I have work limitations but can still do 95% of my job. I have been working 35-40 hours per week for the last several months. Now my hours have been cut down to 22. One of my coworkers has 38 hours and the other...30. I asked my HR boss to let me have one of my shifts back. She said she wouldn't and that she was trying to make it even for us all. If she gave me my shift back, we would all have 30. What can I do? I live in Ohio. Also, can I sue my company for crippling me?

I filed a disability claim with social security, etc. and was turned down. Please help me. I live paycheck to paycheck and can't make ends meet as it is no matter how frugally I live. Cutting my hours in half will put me out on the street. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 1


It sounds like you believe this may be a case of worker's compensation retaliation. You were working a normal amount of hours per week until recently correct. Did anything change that caused your employer to cut your hours to 22? For you to have a claim here, the reason for the reduction of hours would have to be related to your injury, your workers comp claim or the fact that you have work limitations. It sounds like all 3 of those things were in play when you were working the 35-40 hours though correct? The fact that other coworkers have more hours than you, by itself, does not mean you are being discriminated against or treated unfairly. It depends on what the employers reason for changing your hours is. Either way, I'd recommend contacting an employment attorney to more fully discuss this.

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It has actually been like this ever since I got hurt. The only time I get 35-40 hours a week is during the Holidays. The rest of the time, I get 10-20 hours for the most part, usually about 14, while all my co-workers get 30-40. During my last review, my manager told me that I do a great job with our customers, but I am unable to work alongside my coworkers because of my injury and limitations, therefore there is not much camaraderie. However, my co-workers like me and we all get along just fine. I can not help that my knees pop, snap, grind, etc., due to this injury. The longer I stand on my legs, the more swelling that goes on in my knee joints. It wasn't my fault that I have been hurt and now have to deal with arthritis that my doctors have said will only get worse as time goes by. I feel that if they are not going to give me as many hours as my co-workers get, then they should pay me a lump sum settlement of some sort to make up for it. I filed for disability but they said I wasn't disabled enough and I was rejected. No one else is going to want to hire me. I have tried to find other employment but most jobs out there require you to be able to stand, lift, bend, stoop, etc. which I can't do. I just don't know what to do.

Rachel Anne Sabo

Rachel Anne Sabo


I completely understand your frustration. I would suggest contacting an attorney to discuss this further. For instance, if you called my office, I'd want more information such as what your restrictions are specifically, whether you need an accommodation (although I know you are not technically disabled) and why your employer has said you cannot work alongside your other co-workers. Feel free to give my office a call or contact any other employment attorney here on Avvo.

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