An injured worker can potentially have a workers’ compensation claim because of a work injury, and then a disability discrimination claim out of the same set of facts while trying to return to work. However, there are significant differences in the two claims. The Iowa Supreme Court issued a decision on June 25, 2021 in the case of Ronald Rumsey v. Woodgrain Millwork, Inc. d/b/a Windsor Windows and Doors which address these differences.
The worker has been deaf since birth. He uses a hearing aid, but generally relies on lip reading and sign language in order to communicate.
The employer found that the claimant was an excellent employee for many years, including being awarded Employee of the Month twice.