Workplace injuries: Mine worker alleges assault by colleagues

A Pennsylvania person's ability to contribute in the workplace is highly dependent on the worker's rapport with colleagues and superiors. At the very least, a certain mutual respect is expected, without which working together can become an uncomfortable and unpleasant activity. As Dauphin, Pennsylvania, residents may know, employers often conduct programs to help build an atmosphere of trust at the workplace as a means of boosting productivity and ensuring smooth execution of daily tasks.

However, as a recently filed lawsuit demonstrated, in reality, such a congenial workplace may sometimes be harder to find. The complainant, a resident of St. Clairsville, Ohio, and a former worker at a mine in Claysville, Pennsylvania, has alleged that his colleagues at the mine harassed and physically assaulted him and were allowed to do so by a supervisor. Additionally, he has claimed that such behavior was common, with other workplace injury cases reported in the past, and that the company owning the mine was negligent in allowing the abuse.

The assault on the man apparently left him wounded in the thigh and hip, as a result of which he is no longer able to continue at the job. Through the hostile workplace lawsuit, he has sought compensation of medical expenses in addition to which his wife has claimed loss of consortium for which she expects compensation. The man's employer, however, is seeking to have the case shifted to a federal court.

In a traditional case of an employee suffering an accident or otherwise getting injured while on the job, the employer would have the responsibility of forwarding a workers' compensation claim to the insurance provider which would then reimburse the employee. Also, in such cases, the employee is obligated to not file a lawsuit against the employer. However, given the alleged complicity of the supervisor and possible negligence, the incident describe may require handling by a higher managerial level.

Source: The State Journal, "Ohio man claims hostile workplace at Consol mine," Oct. 18, 2014

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