Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘employer conduct’

My Boss Told Me That if I File a Claim, I’ll Lose My Job

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on June 20, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Unfortunately, after the unfortunate circumstances of getting injured on the job, you are not likely to receive a lot of support from your employer. It can become very clear, very quickly, that they are in fact a company and, even if you get along well with a manager or immediate superior, if you are injured, the situation will quickly become a case of the company as an entity trying to protect their assets. That usually means hanging you out to dry.

As soon as a company has an employee at sea injured who would be covered under the Jones Act, the first thing they do is tell their lawyers. Those lawyers are immediately going to want to do two things: 1.) talk to you, and 2.) have you sign certain documents. These discussions and forms will often be used by the company’s attorneys in order to try entrapping you into a lie if your story varies even a tiny bit at some time in the future. They can sometimes even be up to worse things than that with the statements and documents they are requesting from you, such as signing away any responsibility of the company whatsoever. The most important thing you can do is to do absolutely nothing; not until you have talked to a Jones Act or maritime law lawyer.

If you refuse to give a statement or sign anything, you will quite often be threatened with termination. This, again, just emphasizes the need for you to get in contact with a lawyer. If they, at any time, threaten you with termination while trying to get you to perform any action after you have been injured on their sea going vessel, the best thing you can do is to refuse to have any further dialogues with them at all until you have an attorney present. That does mean ANY dialogue at all, because even the most innocuous sounding remark can be used against you in the future.

My boss wants me to sign this form…

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on June 14, 2009 at 7:40 AM

One of the most common reasons that people lose their chance to make a valid claim under the Jones Act is because they sign something after their injury without fully understanding what they may be signing.

This isn’t meant to insult anyone’s intelligence, it is merely meant to put things all in their proper perspective. After you are injured on the job while at sea, your employers are immediately going to see the possibility of a Jones Act claim being laid against them. While you likely do not have the services of a full time Jones act lawyer on your staff, as a company which employs several people at sea, it is a safe bet to ensure that your employers do. In fact, many larger shipping companies have entire legal departments, staffed with several experts in this area.

Many times, immediately after you are injured your employer and their lawyers are going to overwhelm you asking you to sign various documents, which may either state that the events occurred in a certain way or that waive certain portions, if not all, of your rights. It is always good advice to never sign legally binding documents without first having a lawyer review them, but this is doubly important in this type of a situation.

When you’re injured on the job, your ability to earn income and sustain your standard of living can be seriously in jeopardy unless you have a means of being paid fairly for an on the job injury. That is why you need to seek the services of a lawyer who specializes in Jones Act cases as soon as you can following your injury; especially if your company is trying to make you sign documents of any kind after the accident. The most basic and safest rule to follow whenever you sustain an injury on the job, whether on dry land or sea, is to never sign anything until you consult with a lawyer who specializes in your type of on the job injury.