Can You Lose Your Job Injury Case Because of a Dress Code Violation?

If the dress code violation involves safety equipment or mandatory protective gear, then the short answer can be “yes.”

attorney doug landau next to a jobsite dress code sign
Failure to wear the required clothing or safety equipment can lead to the denial of benefits for an on-the-job injury. Herndon Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer Doug Landau notes that employers will frequently use the defense of “Willful Violation of a Known and Enforced Safety Rule” to defeat otherwise meritorious workplace injury claims.

If a worker is struck in the head at a construction site, and they were not wearing their company issued hardhat, that claim could be denied by the Workers’ Compensation insurance company. If the case went to court, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission judge might also find in favor of the employer. The reason that the employer and the insurance company may win is that the safety rule was designed to protect against unnecessary head injuries.

Likewise, in the landscaping field, if there is a company policy that workers must wear face masks and gloves when handling or spraying dangerous chemicals or pesticides and an employee is injured or develops an occupational disease as a result of chemical exposure while NOT using the company issued apparel, that on-the-job injury claim could also be denied by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. A violation of a known and enforced safety rule can mean that a disabled worker gets none of their medical bills, lost wages, medications or other related out-of-pocket losses covered by the Workers’ Compensation system.

Herndon, Virginia workplace injury lawyer Doug Landau has helped injured workers with claims where the insurance company alleged the injured worker failed to wear proper gear or use protective equipment. The defendants in these cases claim that the injury or occupational disease occurred because of the workers’ failure to wear the proper clothes or equipment. Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers know to look at the black letter law and do prompt investigation in order to better their clients’ chances of a successful outcome in these kinds of cases where the employer acknowledges that the worker is disabled, but puts the blame on their own employee.

If you or someone you know was injured while working due to no fault of your own, please give us a call (703-796-9555) or email us at Abrams Landau, Ltd.