Q Is an employer liable if I get food poisoning while at work?
Many workplaces, such as Casinos and Hotels, have restaurants, food carts, vending machines, and eateries within them. Unfortunately, sometimes the food quality is not up to standards and can cause you to become violently ill with food poisoning. If you’re forced to go home or miss a shift due to this stomach illness, can you seek workers’ compensation?
Are you not eligible because you are an employee and should have known better, or because you were on your lunch break? Or is your employer liable because his establishment—whether you work there or not—caused the illness?
Determining Who Is at Fault for Food Poisoning at Work
The United States Department of Labor has strict rules when it comes to workers’ compensation and liability claims. Basically, a work-related illness is defined as an illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in your work environment. However, these stipulations can have exceptions. To adequately determine liability, you must establish the following aspects of the illness.
Employer Is Liable
- The food was contaminated on the premises due to chemical, physical or biological exposure.
- The food was improperly prepared by another employee.
- The hazardous food was supplied by the employer.
Employer Is Not Liable
- You brought the food in to the establishment yourself—either from home or from a different establishment—but ate it on the premises.
- The food was purchased on the premises, but left out for an extended period of time in which it could have become inedible.
- You prepared the food yourself on the premises and you undercooked, contaminated, or otherwise improperly made the food to cause illness.
- You had the illness before you began eating your food, and the food merely aggravated the pre-existing condition.
- You were stricken with the illness when you were present in the work environment, as a member of the general public rather than as an employee.
- The illness is the result of a cold or flu, not food poisoning.
It Is Their Fault—Now What?
When you become ill or injured as a direct result of your employer’s negligence, disregard for proper safety measures, or ignorance, you shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences on your own. It’s very easy for an employer to blame you for a stomachache, and hold back your wages for missed shifts when the fault is his. Don’t allow your employer to get away with punishing you for his own mistakes.
Contact us today if your employer is denying you your rightful benefits after you’ve had to miss work due to an illness, or injury caused by his lack of safety protocols. You deserve compensation for not only the time you missed, but also for the injury itself. Our experience and knowledge can help you fight to get what is owed to you. Don’t hesitate, call now to get the justice, settlement and peace of mind you deserve.
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