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Return-to-work denial might be retaliation

by on
in Employment Law

Some employers seem to think they can force troublesome employees to give up and quit by making work life miserable. The more likely result: a lawsuit.

Recent case: Stephen Centofanti worked at a Days Inn motel. When the owner died, the owner’s son inherited the business. Centofanti testified for step-siblings who challenged the will, claiming the son was charging personal expenses to the company credit card and engaging in other fraudulent activities. Then, when Centofanti tried to return to work following an injury, the son told him he needed more documentation.

Centofanti sued, alleging he was a whistle-blower who had been terminated in retaliation for testifying. The son said he never fired Centofanti.

The court ordered a trial, reasoning that a jury might believe Centofanti had been “silently” fired. (Centofanti v. Days Inn, No. A-2018-09T3, Superior Court of New Jersey, 2011)

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