Employers, here is a scary situation and hopefully not a new trend.
In a recent court case that emanated from a workers’ compensation claim, a federal court indicated that carpal tunnel syndrome may fall under the Americans With Disability Act, commonly known as ADA.
This case occurred in Kansas and involved an employee who was employed part time with a company as a sales and service representative. Once the employee’s condition became know, the HR manager expressed hostility towards the employee and made it difficult for the employee to receive accommodations to make her work more comfortable. The HR manager also stated to the employee that the company was losing money because of her medical condition. The injured employee had successful surgery, returned to work and was later terminated for allegedly violating a company policy that had nothing to do with the carpal tunnel injury.
This termination eventually led to an employment lawsuit by the now former employee against the employer.
You may read more details by going to WorkerCompensation.com.
Certainly, carpal tunnel workers’ comp claims are increasing and many can be avoided. With proper training and appropriate ergonomic workplace setups and procedures, many of these types of injuries will not occur.
It is too early to speculate how, or if at all, this case will affect carpal tunnel work related claims in California. I will share any new information when it becomes available with you all.
Feel free to reach out to me for an assessment of your organization’s risks & threats. I can be contacted at 916-265-3837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org