Heavy compensation burden: Is he dischargable?

They called him Bad Luck Landers. Mechanic Al Landers had sustained 16 injuries over 12-yr of employment. It had cost the company a bundle in workmen's compensation payments.
By Raymond Dreyfack April 1, 1999

They called him Bad Luck Landers. Mechanic Al Landers had sustained 16 injuries over 12-yr of employment. It had cost the company a bundle in workmen’s compensation payments.

One day, after a 3-day absence following a back injury, Landers was approached by Maintenance Supervisor Fred Mifflin.

“I just got a memo from the controller’s office,” he said. “In view of all your injuries and compensation claims, you’re classified as totally disabled. I’m going to have to let you go.”

“No way!” Landers protested. “I need this job, and I’m perfectly able to handle it.”

Mifflin shrugged. “I’m just following orders.”

“We’ll see about that.”

The plant’s union representative echoed this resolve. “You won’t fire this man without a fight,” he threatened.

Question: In your opinion, if management follows through, would Landers’s dismissal be upheld?

Palmer’s decision: When Mifflin filled in his boss on the union’s position, Plant Engineer Frank Palmer investigated the situation in more detail. After consulting with the company’s controller, he summoned Mifflin to his office.

“Kill that dismissal notice,” he instructed the supervisor. “No medical evidence could be found that Landers, despite all his misfortunes, is unable to perform his job, or constitutes a safety hazard to himself or others.”