Job-related injury data must be posted

August 03, 2005

Q: Is it true that an employer needs to post for all employees to see the accident reports of any and all employees?

B.Z., Baltimore

A: Although the law does not require posting of employee accident reports, there are some requirements imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Rebecca Spence, the University of Baltimore's associate director of human resources, said that many employers are required to post, for at least a couple of months each year, OSHA's Form 300A, which provides an annual summary of the work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses suffered. These forms do not identify workers by name or describe accidents but list statistical data such as the number and types of injuries and the number of workdays lost due to work-related injuries or illnesses. To learn more, you can check OSHA's Web site, at www.osha.gov.

MICHAEL HAYES associate professor of law

Q: I worked as a manager for a local supermarket. I requested a Saturday night off and it was granted. The new manager-in-training turned in his two-week notice and decided not to work that night. The district manager told me I had to work. When I said I couldn't, he asked me to turn in my keys. He said this would serve notice that I had quit. When I complained to the human resources manager, I received a letter saying I had abandoned my position and I no longer had a job. I did not apply for unemployment since I knew that my company would protest it. What are your thoughts on this matter?

J.K., Baltimore

A: You probably have no basis for challenging your termination because of Maryland's "employment at will" rule that employers can fire employees, with or without advance notice, for any reason or even no reason at all. However, it may be possible that you could qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. Although the manager said turning over your keys was considered quitting, a Maryland agency or court may find that you were fired. Terminated employees are entitled to unemployment benefits.

MICHAEL HAYES

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