Appellate Court upholds dismissal of workers compensation retaliatory discharge claim.
Jamie Bush sued Peninsular Realty, claiming that the company fired her from her assisted-living employment after she sought medical treatment for an injury suffered at work. In Michigan, the employer is required to pay certain minimal wage loss and medical benefits to an employee who suffers a work-related injury. Under the same law, it is illegal to terminate or discipline an employee who initiates a workers comp claim. Nevertheless, the Appellate panel upheld Bush's dismissal, relying in part on the fact that she was fired after seeking medical treatment, but BEFORE she actually filed a claim for workers compensation payment.Bush had just completed her 90-day training period, and the Defendant suggested her termination was unrelated to her injury treatment and motivated by unspecified complaints and dissatisfaction with her work record and her "comfort level" with residents. The Court's opinion does not identify Bush's injuries or provide any specifics regarding her employer's allegations. It merely concluded that she did not prove that her firing was a response to seeking treatment for a worker comp-related injury and that she did not prove that the rationalizations offered by the Defendant were in fact mere "pretext."