Would there be any federal issues a disabled employee can pursue in Federal courts in WA State where he failed in State courts?

Asked over 2 years ago - Lacey, WA

Prior to the passage of HB2123 in May 2011(workers comp.alternative resolution for disabled emloyees who become disabled from the workplace). Disabled employees (other than Police and firefighters) covered under the Industrial Insurance Act in WA State is abled to bring a Tort of Outrage Claim in Civ. Court against their employer in civil court.
If the disabled employee is unsuccessful in the WA State Courts, it is unlikely Federal Dist. Courts would overturn a Supreme Court decision, unless there are fed.issues or questions in conflict with state Law.
Would it be possible to bring a lawsuit against the State of WA (insurer) in Fed. courts on the grounds of discrimination against public employees who are neither police officers or firefighters who are able to arbitrate their disability?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. William D. Edelblute

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It seems unlikely. By "discrimination against public employees" who are not police officers or firefighters, you may be asking if there is a denial of Equal Protection under the 14th Amendment. The government would have a sufficient rational basis to treat police and firefighers differently than all other public employees in general.

    As a "public employee" in general, you don't specified if you are tenured. Some government employees would have no tenure, or property interest in their job to begin with. Further police and firefighters who have arbitration as a remedy may be precluded from pursuing a remedy in Court, so there is a tradeoff, justifying the distinction.

  2. John William Ladenburg

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the first two answers, such a lawsuit is very unlikely to result in a favorable verdict. You are not in a protected class and the court is unlikely to see a Federal issue.

  3. Brian S Wayson

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While one could bring such a lawsuit, the more important question really is, is such a lawsuit winnable? Public employees are not a protected class under the federal discrimination laws, so a lawsuit brought claiming discrimination on the basis of being a public employee not allowed to arbitrate most likely would fail. Unless one can find a federal statutory allowance for bringing such a lawsuit then such a lawsuit likely would not get off the ground. I am not aware of any such statutory allowance.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice,... more

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