Financial Hardship Due to Injry - Claim?

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Kathy James

28 April 2014
Workplace Injury Claim for J (I am writing on behalf of my daughter...I am Ju)

First off J has been waiting for a claim from Aged Care Employers' Self Insurance. She has just been informed that she will not receive a 'letter of offer' and that the money she will receive will just go into her account this Wednesday. So we need to get advice on this asap. They say that they do not do letters of offers. We have had legal advice that they must send a letter of offer first. From the conversation that she had today with this company, it appears they are trying to avoid paying J the amount she is entitled to, which we believe should compensate for the stress, and mental trauma (doctors words) she experienced through this whole ordeal.

I am typing as I am a very fast typist while J dictates the events.

A letter from the insurance company stated that she has been accepted for a claim for 'dermatitis due to gloves and frequent hand washing' but I will add that it was severe allergy from the gloves she was wearing and we have the pictures to prove it plus the doctor has verified this.

Here is the breakdown of events-

It started about 5 months ago, a small rash appeared on J's right hand. As time went on, she got into full time work with RSL Care and the rash spread all over her hand to the point where it was at times infected and gross to look at. J started to become very stressed at this point.

About 2 months ago her boss saw her hand at its worst it's ever been and gave her cotton gloves to wear under the usual gloves they are required to wear. She said they need her in the kitchen and made J keep working even though it was in a very bad state.

2 weeks later the area manager took one look at it and ordered her to see a doctor straight away. Ever since then, J has been doing suitable duties 4-5 hours a week which meant she did not have to wear the gloves. This meant considerable financial hardship as she has to run a car, and is studying full time...all at her own expense.

The following is written by J herself.

Last Tuesday, the 22nd April, I had my first cleaning shift which involved the use of gloves. I went to the doctors to get a medical certificate and the doctor highly recommended that I do not wear the gloves at all until it is completely gone. I agreed to this and the doctor called my boss and they came to an agreement that I would trial the use of gloves for an hour and go and see my boss.

If it was bad I would be sent home, if it was fine I would continue my shift. I got to work and my boss was very flushed. She was saying in a very harsh tone 'the doctor said you're mentally traumitised so what are you good for?' I stood there and followed her while she was saying stuff like 'you're not even allowed to work in the kitchen again.' We got into the kitchen, she looked at another worker and said in front of my face 'I'm so f***ing over it, Jset the dining room.' I then got told to 'get off site' because the doctor failed to send my medical certificate through even though the doctor had talked about it over the phone before I went to work. I went home, and cried.

We would love to get an appointment urgently about this matter.

One for the injury to 's hand which has caused severe stress and financial hardship...she could not even get centrelink or apply for other jobs because of the state of her hand.
also the treatment which I call bullying she received last Tuesday should be dealt with from her place of employment.

Kind Regards


Well-Known Member
8 April 2014
G'day Jane (via Judy)
I can’t comment on the personal injury question. From what you’ve written, it seems you’ve already received some legal advice in relation to the insurance claim/letter of offer, so keep on with whoever was assisting you if you can.

In relation to the workplace bullying:
The Workplace Health and Safety Queensland site has some good information on workplace bullying / workplace harassment and the complaint process.

It says that workplace harassment/bullying is where a person is subjected to behaviour, other than sexual harassment, that:
  1. is repeated, unwelcome and unsolicited,
  2. the person considers to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening, and
  3. a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.
I can see you’ve documented one incident in your post. Have there been other incidences? If so, then I think you might be able to say its workplace bullying / workplace harassment.

Does your employer have a workplace harassment/bullying prevention policy? That should state who the appropriate person is (usually an HR person) for you to raise the workplace harassment/bullying complaint with.

The WHS Queensland site also takes you through Resolving workplace harassment/bullying complaints - for in the workplace and for going through external agencies.

Hope that helps.
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