Central Environmental Services / Wrongfully Terminated
Central is a demolition company. I was a truck driving for them. We were doing a demo job for NASA. Because of the economy, the owner made it clear that he's not hiring anyone else and wants the truck drivers to be rushing at all the job sites helping the field workers out as well as helping other drivers with their trucks. Talk about not thinking safety. On Dec. 10, 2008, a low-boy truck arrived hauling a loader to be dropped off. I had just arrived and went over to help him unload the loader. There was 3 other truck drivers there also helping. We all have class A liscenses, but we're not all trained on opperation the low-boy. A pin was put back in by mistake as the low-boy driver pulled away. He had to get out of the truck and opperate it again. I was wearing safety gloves at the time. And when the pin came loss, I started pulling it out. Suddenly, the low-boy dropped right on my left index and middle fingers. I pulled them out as the machine dropped. At first I thought nothing happened but a bruise to my middle finger. Then I saw the blood. The machine fell on my fingers taring the skin and meat from my index finger. My middle finger was in pain. There were no broken bones in either finger. Instead of calling 911, the had to follow NASA's saftey rules and start calling numbers to let them know and accident with injury accurd. By the time I got into an amulance, over 2 hours had passed from being driven around NASA going from clinic to clinic. When I arrived at the hospital, almost 3 hours had passed.
Thinking Central would call my emergency number, which is my wife, I didn't get a phone call in the 5 hours after the injury accurd. I then tried to get hold of her. She answered and I told her what happened. She put our 2 daughters, the oldest being 2 years, in the van and headed for Melbourne, FL. Over an hour's drive from Orlando. While talking with her for 30 minutes, the nurses finally came and got me to go int surgury. After the surgury, the nurse told me what the Orthopedic sergion did. He cut my palm and wrapped the skin around my finger to get the new skin to start growing around my finger. He then stitched my finger to the palm of the hand. I was able to go home that night.
The next day, I had to go to my work and fill out an incident report and get a drug test. I returned the paper showing I had the test performed. I then learned that they were calling my emergency contact number when I was hired 2 1/2 years earlier. I've moved 2 times and had 3 different phone numbers which I gave to my work everytime I switched. They updated my phone number and address, but they didn't update the emergency contact info. After that, my wife and I went to talk to a lawyer about worker's comp. to get info about it. The lawyer told me that I should try to find another job, that when I'm given a green light by the doctors to return to work, I should expect to be harrassed and humiliated and fired a few weeks after returning.
On Feb. 17, 2009, I was given the green light to return to work. I had to sit through 6 hours of safety videos without getting paid. The next moring was my official first day back to work. The Manager then starts trying to humiliate me by telling all the workers that I'm holding on by a very thin line. No one is to be giving me special treatment. I won't be returning to the job site at NASA, that that was a magament decission. The truck driver manager told me that he wasn't informed about me not returning to NASA. I was driving the newest truck. The Manager took that truck away instead of returning me to drive it. I wasn't involved in a trucking accident.
More and more the harassment and humiliation came. I kept my cool. Then on April 1, 2009, the manager switched the paperwork around and told me and the shop worker what equipment needs to be put in a can for delivery to another job site in Melbourne. He didn't tell us anything about putting a bobcat in the can. So I went 60 miles to deliver it and thats when hell broke loose. The manager then says I'm fired and the shop guy, who is the Owner's son-in-law, only gets written up. We both had the same story that the manager didn't tell us to put a bobcat in the can and that pissed him off because we wouldn't change our story. It make the manager look like he's at fault. I then go to the owner and he doesn't want to hear it. He just says I don't even want to talk about it, just go. I tried to tell him my side, but he wouldn't listen. He believes everything that the manager tells him even if it's lies. When he walked out of his office to get away from me, I followed him. And in front of a few people I said, The lawyer was right. Every since I've been back I will be harassed and humiliated and fired in a few weeks. He didn't like that comment and starts taking a defensive side like I'm threatening him. I never said I hired a lawyer. And when it still came to my injuries at work, they still didn't care.
I've been looking for work ever since. I filed unemployment. Two weeks passed and I filed the claims. A couple days ago I get a letter in the mail from the unemployment office saying that because I was fired for being negligent, I won't get unemployment benifits. My only other choice is find a lawyer to help me sue them.