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Bad Air

Discussion in 'Law School & Careers in Law' started by sprank, May 25, 2007.

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  1. sprank

    sprank Law Topic Starter New Member

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    How are you all, just a real short post from Ohio....ok maybe not real short. Here is the story:

    May 8th, 2007 I went in to work. Did the normal check of email and the calendar. On the calendar was an appointment for me to go to the apartment building that my employer owns. Went and tracked down what I was to be doing in there and the like. Told that someone would be over later to help out with a couple areas. I was putting new wiring in a couple of apartments, extending what was there so that fire, data and phone could be properly connected. This is a pretty old building, being remodeled into nicer living spaces. So, I am over there wiring, much of this taking place in a crawls space between floors 1 and 2. So I am in there doing my thing, making progress, coughing at the dust and crap. My help arrives a few hours later and in good time since I was struggling with getting a wire from one location to another, 2 people were required. Getting this wire required me to lay in a trench that is in the crawlspace, place my head and arm into an opening and reach into a crevice area to retrieve a flex-rod from the guy downstairs. It really did take some doing and looking back it should not have been done, this wire was not that important to anyone, it was for cable TV. Back on topic…

    My co-worker had to take off to another appointment which left me dirty, bleeding and suffering. There is some sort of metal mesh that had maybe concrete in it covering the crawl space area, which had me a little scuffed up. So without the help to finish I wrapped it up. On the way home I could not quit with the coughing, I blew it off, one could expect to cough when you come out of a place like that. But there was this lump in my throat, felt like something stuck in there but I could not cough it up. Lots of water and coughing and it was no longer noticeable. At home I took a shower, got out feeling hot, burning in my face. I did just get out of a warm shower on a hot day, ignoring this. Angie and I were eating dinner and she told me that my face was really red on the one side. I acknowledged, told her it felt hot too. Within an hour it was starting to swell, noticeably on both sides of my face. By the next morning the swelling had not gone down and the redness was comparable to a fire engine. I went in to tell my supervisor about it and he told me to have it checked out. That started this whole mess.

    A trip to the hospital got me IV Benadryl and steroids to combat the reaction. They told me to rest at home and continue taking oral steroids to ease the reaction. The next day did not produce any significant change but I returned to work. I continued working on through the next week, the steroids were doing their part, but Monday they ran out. By Wednesday I was back at the hospital with difficulty breathing, burning in my throat and lungs, just overall feeling bad. I was sort of on auto-pilot, I don’t recall much of it at all oddly. They sent me the next day for follow up at occupational health where they started me on antibiotics and Claritin. This was Thursday. I was off work due to this illness that had taken me over, on Friday the hospital called and said that they had a throat culture come back positive for strep. They asked if I was taking antibiotics, I told them I was and they were satisfied. I was in bed most of the weekend, sleeping and sweating. The hospital called every day to check in making sure I was taking the medication. On Sunday they recommended I come back in to be seen again as I had been on the antibiotics long enough for there to be more of a change then there had been. That brings us to Monday, I decided I had better heed the advice and go in to be seen again, I don’t know what this is or what it is doing to me short or long term. I do know that breathing gets tough and I sweat a lot. I also know that my blood pressure has been up since this all started, 140/96 was one reading, that is high for me. So, back at the hospital I give the doctor the run down on everything since the beginning, the shortness of breath, sinus pain, nose bleeds, sweating, kidney pain, burning in the chest, rash, blood pressure, strep…the works. When they started, how they started. He took at look at me and was concerned that whatever I inhaled inside that crawl space had been sucked into my lungs, which made perfect sense as to the respiratory problems and why my body was still fighting something that I was no longer near. It’s inside me.

    Anyway, I am trying to cut this short. They put me back on the steroids, continue the antibiotics and follow up with a pulmonary specialist, treating me for chronic bronchitis. They told me to rest for 2-3 days. Worked out, Thursday was the follow-up with occupational health. They looked over everything, the symptoms, and the hospital reports and set me up to have a PFT, Pulmonary Functionality Test I think and they set me up with a pulmonary specialist. So, that test is next Friday June 1st and the specialist is the following Friday. But wait….there’s more. You thought it ended there didn’t you?

    Today I return to work. What should happen? Guess? Go on. You bet! They dismissed me. What for? Violation of company policy. Here is the scoop, I have a website and have had a website that I operate from. Rank Ventures is what I was doing prior to working at this company. I needed to do something else as the business where I was located was just non-existent. That and advertising just led me to decide to let it rest. I had customers and would continue to have them and if all else failed it would still be around. So I interview with this company that we are talking about, I tell them about the website and the things I do and that I am not currently doing anything with it. I would continue to services the existing customers and what not, but promotion of it had ceased. They are cool with it and bring me on board. Which brings us to the now, now they tell me that it is violation of policy and that I cannot continue to be employed there due to it. It’s the equivalent of employing a bearded man when company policy states that all must be clean shaven, then down the road terminating him for having a beard. When it suits you. They wanted me gone so they would not have to pay for my time spent ill. If I am working there and have to take time off for a doctors appointment relating to a work related injury, they have to pay me that time. Not only that, I got injured, it may be serious (let’s hope not) and they don’t want to own up to it. Maybe if I am out of sight I will be out of mind, no, it does not work that way. There are laws out there written specifically to protect people from situations precisely like this one. I intend to use them. The kicker of all of this, their website depicts them strictly as an ISP. There is no service blatantly advertised by them at their site that matches with mine. I may be able to find something digging deep into it, but I am not seeing it right now. Being the good person that I am, and the type that covers myself, I went ahead and downloaded their entire site as it is on 5/25/07. In case they read this and decide to change it. If you go to my site you will see that I don’t offer any ISP service, no connectivity to the internet at all. That is all 3rd party and what I would have told a potential customer that may have stumbled on to me…in fact I have. Just seems like further proof that they needed to conjure up a reason for my dismissal in my opinion.

    So my questions are this, have they done wrong? Should I seek the services of an Attorney?

    I have not been able to speak with the Person at the 3rd party firm handling the workers compensation at all yet, not returning phone calls.

    What would you advise I do?

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