It is hot in Colorado and that means that many people are at risk of heat illness, dehydration, and other heat-related conditions. Not many people in Denver, however, would think that those kinds of illnesses would happen at work. Unfortunately, some workplaces don’t have air conditioning and they can be especially dangerous during the summer months. While it can be incredibly difficult for employees to deal with workplace illnesses, they are often eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they get sick at work.
One McDonald’s employee was recently hospitalized from heat illness after the air conditioner broke because of high temperatures. This was not the first time the unit has broken down; employees report that every summer the air conditioner will break down when temperatures get too high. And the employee who was hospitalized was not the only employee who reported heat-related illness.
Typically, workplace illnesses can be difficult to prove, in part because there are many different places and ways a person can become sick. To show that there was something at work that caused the illness can be complex and often requires the expertise of a workers’ compensation benefits attorney. Fortunately for the McDonald’s employees who fell ill because of the heat, the association between a stiflingly hot kitchen and heat sickness is relatively easy to prove.
It is not entirely clear how serious these employees’ sickness is, nor whether they will need much time to recover. Regardless, however, they should be able to apply for workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of medical care for their heat illness.
Source: New York Daily News, “McDonald’s workers strike after air-conditioner fails, colleague hospitalized,” Nicholle Buckley and Larry McShane, July 19, 2013