The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act prohibits an employee from bringing a lawsuit against an employer for injuries that arise out of his or her employment. In Branyan v. Southwest Airlines Co., an airline employee apparently sustained a wrist injury while assisting a passenger in 2013. Following the incident, the worker was placed on paid leave. During this time, the airline continued providing the Halifax woman with health and other benefits. About two months later, the airline’s insurer denied the employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Next, the airline reportedly began demanding reimbursement for the benefits paid on the worker’s behalf and charged her sick time for her absence. The airline also allegedly began requesting that the employee return to work immediately. During this time, the worker underwent surgery and purportedly directed all further communications to her attorney. After the airline made numerous calls to the worker, it eventually requested that local police perform a wellness check on her. Three days later, the worker was notified that her employment was terminated.