Cut at work due to the carelessness of my boss...

by James
(Rutland, Vermont, USA)

I work in a kitchen as a cook at an assisted living facility. Yesterday January 29th, 2012 while at work I stepped on a piece of glass that was left on the floor by my boss when he had knocked a glass cup off the counter. Instead of picking it up when it happened he left it to be cleaned up later.

Not knowing there was glass on the floor and not being able to see the ground because I was carrying plates, I stepped on the glass and it went through my shoe and into my foot. There was quite a bit of blood.

After this all happened my boss told me we weren't going to file an accident report unless something came of the injury (i.e. I need to seek medical treatment).

It's now the next day and I'm still finding it difficult to put weight on it. I felt uneasy about letting it go. I'm worried he is trying to make it difficult for me to do anything because he is worried that his negligence will get himself in trouble.

How might I handle this situation with my boss? I don't know how bad my foot injury is and if it will get infected or not, but I still don't feel right about letting it go. Thanks for any info you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Cut at work due to the carelessness of my boss...":

James (Rutland, Vermont

Common law, which is a history of legal cases and laws, consistently holds injured persons have a duty to mitigate their damages. In your case that means you can't allow the injury to worsen and then ask a court to award you compensation for the worsened injury.

For personal as well as legal purposes you should have sought medical attention immediately after the accident. Not seeking medical attention, and then later claiming a future infection is the fault of your boss and your employer, is legally inappropriate.

If you haven't already sought medical attention you should do so immediately. The cut you describe at the this time doesn't appear to be serious. If you don't want to go to a local medical clinic or emergency room, then at least purchase some Neosporin or other disinfectant / antibiotic and treat your wound. Treating it now will obviate the need for future treatment of an infection.

If you remain upset with the action, or more appropriately, the inaction of your boss, report her to her superior.

Doing so may not enamor you to your boss, but at least she will know in the future not to engage in such dangerous actions. Of course reporting your boss to her supervisor may make your employment uncomfortable. The decision is yours to make.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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