Experiencing sexual harassment or retaliation in the workplace? Injured in a car crash that was not your fault? Our skilled West Virginia lawyers can help. Browse our FAQs for answers to questions about your rights, options, and the steps we take to ensure that you feel protected and supported throughout the legal process.
How will I know if my employer is retaliating against me?
Being treated differently at work or threatened with termination after reporting harassment, discrimination, or safety issues? Retaliation may be to blame. While retaliating against workers is expressly prohibited, sadly, it isn't uncommon. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation is involved in more than half of the roughly 70,000 complaints the agency receives each year.
Retaliation comes in many different forms in the workplace—and while some types may be glaringly obvious, the more subtle varieties are just as common and potentially even more dangerous. Here's what you should know about West Virginia employment retaliation cases, including how to recognize retaliatory actions and how our exceptional team of attorneys can help you hold your employer accountable.
Workplace Retaliation Is Against the Law
Federal EEOC laws, as well as the West Virginia Human Rights Act, prohibit employers from retaliating against workers for engaging in protected acts, such as:
- Rejecting unwanted sexual advances
- Reporting sexual harassment/hostile work environment
- Reporting unsafe working conditions
- Requesting accommodations for disability or pregnancy
- Reporting patient abuse
- Applying for workers' compensation benefits
- Reporting understaffing at a hospital or other medical facility
- And others
Recognizing On-the-Job Retaliation
While overt acts of retaliation—such as swiftly terminating an employee who had just reported harassment or discrimination—can and do happen, it's a lot more common for employers to engage in the type of subtle behavior that leaves you second-guessing yourself. Examples of workplace retaliation include:
- Assigning you less desirable shifts
- Scheduling you to work with your harasser
- Reduced hours
- Pay cuts
- Subjecting you to increased scrutiny
- Denying you training or advancement opportunities
- Giving you poor performance reviews that are undeserved
- Excluding you from meetings, office functions, activities made available to other employees
- Making your job or position more difficult
- Failing to take prompt corrective action after a report of harassment or discrimination
These are just a few of the many actions that may be considered retaliatory. Not sure if the treatment you're experiencing qualifies? Our experienced employment attorneys can help.
What to Do If You're Facing Retaliation at Work
Working in an environment that's safe and free from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation is your legal right. Don't suffer in silence. If you're being harassed, discriminated or retaliated against, or subjected to a toxic working environment, report it.
- Facing retaliation from a fellow employee? Tell a supervisor or company owner, or report it to the human resources department.
- Facing retaliation from a supervisor or business owner? Report it to a different supervisor or company owner, the human resources department, or a company complaint hotline.
We Can Help You Hold Your Employer Accountable
Your employer is responsible for ensuring a safe workplace that's free of unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Whether they're the source of the retaliation, or you're being retaliated against by someone else at your company, the highly skilled legal team with Bailess Law Firm can help you hold your employer accountable and recover the damages you deserve. Depending on the facts and evidence in your case, you may be able to collect damages for lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, and other losses. In rarer instances, judges and juries may award an additional kind of damages—known as punitive damages—to punish employers for particularly egregious conduct.
Talk to Us About Your West Virginia Employment Retaliation Case
Federal and West Virginia employment law is complex and complicated, and holding an employer accountable for unlawful conduct can be challenging. You need compassionate, caring, and capable attorneys to level the playing field and fight tirelessly on your behalf. Fortunately, you've come to the place. Download our book It's Not Your Fault: How to Fight Back Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and contact Bailess Law Firm today for a free initial review of your Mountain State employment retaliation claim.
Can I be fired for taking time off from work because of an injury or illness?
Unfortunately, it's possible. West Virginia law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits of any kind. Because of at-will employment laws, employers in the Mountain State can fire workers at any time, for any reason—or even no reason at all.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, the firing can't be done in retaliation for an employee engaging in a protected activity—such as reporting sexual harassment, hostile work environment, or safety issues—or violate other anti-discrimination laws. Also, when employers choose to provide workers with sick leave benefits, they're required to abide by the terms established in the company policy or employment contract. In some cases, the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may provide some protection.
Were you fired for taking time off when you were injured or ill? Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to damages. Here's what you should know about West Virginia workplace retaliation cases, including how the exceptional employment attorneys at Bailess Law Firm can help you understand your rights and explore your options for taking legal action.
Recognizing Retaliation: When it Isn't Really About Sick Leave
While an employer may be able to fire you for calling out sick if you don't have any kind of sick leave benefits, there are times when that kind of harsh employment decision is motivated by more than just an unexcused absence. Consider the timing. Did your termination for an injury or illness-related work absence happen after you:
- Reported sexual harassment or a hostile work environment
- Reported other types of illegal employment discrimination
- Reported unsafe practices or safety violations
- Participated in an investigation of workplace sexual harassment, safety violations, or other unlawful discrimination
- Filed a claim alleging discrimination?
If so, you should also examine the way you were treated before being fired. Were you:
- Transferred to a less desirable position, schedule, or location
- Scheduled to work with someone you reported for sexual harassment or discrimination
- Denied a promotion or pay raise
- Subjected to verbal or physical abuse
- Targeted for increased scrutiny
- Given an unfairly negative performance review
What you experienced might be workplace retaliation. Talking to a seasoned employment attorney is the best way to determine if you have grounds to move forward with a claim or lawsuit.
A Quick Word About the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
You may have heard that the FMLA allows workers to take unpaid leave for medical or family reasons without losing their jobs. However, the truth is a lot more complicated. The FMLA only applies to private-sector employers that employ 50 or more people—and to be protected by the law, you must have worked for your employer for at least a year and for a minimum number of hours. The law also specifies the situations in which FMLA leave can be used. Talk to one of our attorneys to find out whether this law applies to your case.
What You Could Recover and What You Have to Prove in a West Virginia Employment Retaliation Case
Potential damages in an employment retaliation case are wide-ranging and may include lost pay and emotional distress. In order to secure fair damages, you and your attorney will have to prove that:
- You experienced (or witnessed) illegal harassment or discrimination
- You engaged in a protected activity (such as reporting harassment)
- Your employer responded with a negative employment action (firing you)
- You suffered damages as a result
Ready to find out how the caring and capable legal team with Bailess Law Firm can help you hold your employer accountable for retaliation?
Schedule a Complimentary Case Review
Contact us today to request a free, no-obligation review of your case.
Workplace Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment
What do I need to know if I’m facing sexual harassment at work?
Sexual harassment is widespread in workplaces throughout the United States. While sexual harassment exists in all industries, it is most prevalent in the restaurant industry. 71% of women who worked in a restaurant have been sexually harassed on at least one occasion. Moreover, 98% of all women in the survey reported at least one incident of retaliation following their report of sexual harassment, according to a report published by One Fair Wage in March 2021.
If you are facing sexual harassment, you are not alone. Here are seven key points you should know:
#1 – You Have a Right to a Workplace Free of Sexual Harassment.
Sexual harassment is never something that is “part of the job.” It is illegal under West Virginia and federal law to sexually harass employees in the workplace. The West Virginia Human Rights Act (“WVHRA”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect you from unwanted sexual harassment in the workplace. To fall under these Acts, your employer must have a certain number of employees. The WVHRA requires twelve or more employees in West Virginia for twenty or more calendar weeks in the year the sexual harassment occurred, while Title VII requires 15 or more employees. In the event your employer does not reach these thresholds for employees, the substantial public policy of West Virginia may provide you protection.
#2 – Types of Sexual Harassment.
There are two types of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo
- Sexual harassment hostile work environment
Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that means “this for that.” This type of sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor or employee conditions an employee’s hiring, pay, benefits, or continued employment on the employee’s consent to participate in sexual acts. A classic example of quid pro quo sexual harassment is when a supervisor promises a promotion or favorable job conditions in exchange for sex. On the other hand, sexual harassment hostile work environment occurs in various forms such as unwanted sexual advances, touching, inappropriate jokes, intimidation, retaliation, or an employer failing to take prompt action after a report of sexual harassment.
#3 – Sexual Harassment Is More Than Inappropriate Touching.
Inappropriate touching is a common form of sexual harassment. The West Virginia Code of State Rules broadly defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature intended to interfere with an individual’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. As you can see, sexual harassment encompasses so much more than just touching. Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate jokes, sending offensive text messages, displaying pornography, violating personal space, “testing the waters” for sex, or asking about your private sex life. Sexual harassment can also exist when you are subjected to an intimidating work environment because you are female.
#4 – The Harassment Does Not Have to Be Directed at You.
A sexually hostile work environment is not confined to the target of sexual harassment. Indirectly witnessing sexual harassment or experiencing a workplace culture that tolerates sexual harassment can be just as devastating as directly experiencing the harassment. This is commonly referred to as “ambient” sexual harassment or “secondhand smoke.” The WVHRA and Title VII provide protection for indirect sexual harassment.
#5 – Psychological Effects of Sexual Harassment.
The emotional and psychological effects of sexual harassment can have lasting consequences. Survivors of sexual harassment can experience nightmares, anxiety, depression, loss of self-esteem, withdrawal, horror, fear, helplessness, and avoidance. Many survivors of sexual harassment develop post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-V] associates PTSD with experiencing a traumatic event like sexual harassment. There are damages available under the WVHRA and Title VII for emotional distress related to sexual harassment. At Bailess Law Firm, we believe the psychological and emotional effects of sexual harassment may be the greatest damages our clients experience.
#6 – Report Sexual Harassment Immediately.
Reporting sexual harassment triggers the employer’s duty to act. If a co-worker or customer is sexually harassing you, you should immediately report the harassment to a supervisor or human resources. On the other hand, if your supervisor or an owner is the source of the harassment, you can report the sexual harassment to another supervisor, owner, or human resources. Alternatively, some companies have a hotline you can call to report the harassment. When a supervisor engages in sexual harassment, his or her conduct can automatically make the employer liable. Under the WVHRA, an employer is responsible for the acts of its supervisors performed in the scope of their employment. Supervisors can also be found liable under the WVHRA for failing to take prompt and corrective action against co-workers who knowingly engage in sexual harassment.
#7 – Damages Available for Sexual Harassment
Employers who violate sexual harassment laws may be on the hook for your lost wages, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages pursuant to the WVHRA. Keep in mind, punitive damages are designed to punish and deter your employer from engaging in future acts of sexual harassment. Additionally, your employer may also have to pay for the time and costs your attorney incurs in the case.
Our team at Bailess Law Firm has proudly represented many survivors of sexual harassment. We recognize firsthand the courage it takes to come forward about sexual harassment. Our team is committed to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. We will listen to you without judgment in a pressure-free environment. Whether you would like more information, want to take action against your employer, or just want to talk, please contact us for a free consultation at 304-841-0037 or complete our contact form and download our book It's Not Your Fault: How to Fight Back Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace for more information.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney to fight sexual harassment in the workplace?
If sexual harassment at work has turned your shifts into waking nightmares and HR took no steps to resolve the issue (or you were too afraid to report it), it's likely time to hire an employment attorney to help you fight back against this insidious, illegal, and all-too-common form of discrimination. Unfortunately, no matter how bad the harassment's gotten or how hostile the working environment has become, you may be reluctant to contact an attorney. This could be for any number of reasons but, in our experience, it's often due to concerns about the high cost of legal counsel. Don't let this misconception deter you from seeking the damages—and the justice—you deserve. Here's what you need to know.
Let Us Help You Level the Playing Field
Employers who are engaging in, or turning a blind eye to, workplace sexual harassment work hard to make you think that they have the power—and the financial resources—and you don't. Hiring an attorney to represent you not only levels the legal playing field between you and your employer, it can actually maximize the value of your case. Best of all, it costs you absolutely nothing.
At Bailess Law Firm, our caring and capable team of West Virginia employment attorneys help clients navigate the complex litigation process. We know you've been through a lot, which can make it difficult to know who to trust. We're mindful of these concerns, which is why values like integrity, honesty, transparency, and discretion are key pillars of our practice. At every point, we want you to feel confident in our counsel.
On-the-Job Sexual Harassment Comes in Many Forms
Survivors often doubt and minimize their experiences with workplace sexual harassment. Clients sometimes come to us concerned that they're "making something out of nothing." Rest assured, in our many years of practice, that's rarely, if ever, been the case. Far more often, these survivors have fallen for the misconception that if their employer didn't offer them something in exchange for sex, or threaten to fire them if they didn't comply with sexual demands, they didn't experience "true" sexual harassment. Let's lay this myth to rest once and for all. Not all harassment is "quid pro quo" harassment. In fact, hostile work environment harassment, which involves a barrage of unwanted sexual jokes, comments, and other actions that make the workplace offensive or intimidating, is much more common.
The "Cost" of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Don't take for granted the effects that being targeted for continual sexual harassment can have on you as a survivor. From interfering with your job performance to inflicting lasting emotional distress, on-the-job sexual harassment inflicts real harm. We can help you hold your employer accountable.
We Assume the Expense and Risk of Litigation, So You Pay Nothing—Ever
If we accept your workplace sexual harassment case, we front all costs of litigation and assume the associated risk. You pay nothing out of pocket. Ever. No matter what.
Who Pays Our Fee If We Win Your Case: Understanding Fee-Shifter Agreements
You might find yourself worrying that nothing comes for free—especially legal representation—and that someone will inevitably have to pay us for our legal services at some point. That's true, but you never have to pay anything out of pocket. We do not get paid unless you recover damages from your case.
Talk to Us About Your Workplace Sexual Harassment Case
Contact Bailess Law Firm to schedule an appointment for a free initial case review. We'll help you understand your legal rights and options, and determine whether your case and our firm are a good match. Don't wait—contact us today.
How can an attorney help if I'm dealing with sexual harassment at work?
Facing a barrage of unwanted sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and sexually suggestive jokes, comments, and innuendos can be harmful and degrading no matter where it happens. Unfortunately, sexual harassment that occurs at work is particularly insidious because it relies on an imbalanced power dynamic and the fear that you could lose your job or income to make you feel trapped and hopeless.
Here's what your harasser doesn't want you to know: You don't have to put up with sexual harassment in the workplace. A skilled employment attorney can help you take action to hold your employer accountable.
At Bailess Law Firm, we know how difficult it can be to come forward with such personal experiences. Our compassionate and understanding employment lawyers are here to make the process as easy as possible. Here's how we can assist you.
Help You Understand Your Legal Rights and Options
Harassers work hard to make you feel like you don't have any power. However, both state and federal laws protect workers from being sexually harassed on the job. You have the right to work in an environment that's safe and free from unlawful harassment or discrimination. If you were targeted for sexual harassment at work or were subjected to a hostile work environment, we can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking damages.
Gather Important Evidence
Gathering evidence to support your claim is essential but, for some sexual harassment survivors, doing so can be difficult, time consuming, or even traumatic. We are here to help. In addition to gathering evidence like texts or emails, we can also get statements from others who witnessed or were affected by the harassment, and interview experts to assess the scope of the damages you suffered.
Level the Playing Field
A workplace sexual harassment claim can pit you against an employer's high-powered corporate legal team. Having an experienced employment attorney to represent you throughout litigation levels the playing field, and sends the message that you're serious about your case and receiving fair damages for it.
Prove Your Claim and Help You Recover Damages
Recovering damages for employment sexual harassment requires proving that the conduct in question was unlawful. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may be considered harassment when:
- Submission is explicitly or implicitly made a condition of your employment
- Submission or rejection is used as the basis for employment decisions
- Conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance, or creating a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment
While what you recover is highly dependent on the facts and evidence in your case, potential damages include lost wages and benefits, related medical costs, and emotional distress damages.
Believe, Support, and Encourage You Throughout the Legal Process
When you're taking legal action to hold an employer accountable for sexual harassment, you need employment attorneys who can serve dual roles as fierce legal advocates, and kind and conscientious counselors. Bailess Law Firm does exactly that. We're here to provide a safe space for you to share your experiences and get the legal services—as well as the protection, guidance, encouragement, validation, and support—you need. However, while you see our softer side, we're known for diligently fighting for our clients at the negotiations table and in the courtroom. We are here for you when you need us, every single step of the way.
Talk to Us About Your Case
Contact Bailess Law Firm today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary review of your West Virginia workplace sexual harassment case. We'll work to determine if your case and our firm are a good fit, but don't worry about the fee. If we accept your case, you pay nothing, ever. That's our guarantee.
Will anyone believe me if I file a sexual harassment claim?
Sexual harassment can leave targets feeling embarrassed, isolated, and powerless. When this type of harassment happens in the workplace, potentially threatening employment or income, affected workers can be even more unsure what they should do, or if they should do anything at all. Sound familiar?
If you're being sexually harassed on the job or subjected to a hostile work environment, you don't have to stay quiet and tolerate it. While the harasser may try to make you feel alone, or convince you that what you experienced wasn't a big deal, that you can't do anything about it, or that you won't be believed even if you do report their behavior, nothing could be further from the truth.
Sexual harassment is common, damaging, and—most importantly—illegal. Facing sexual harassment or a hostile work environment? Our exceptional team of employment attorneys can help you hold the responsible party accountable. Here's what you should know.
Providing Support For West Virginia Employment Sexual Harassment Survivors
At Bailess Law Firm, our caring and conscientious employment lawyers help workplace sexual harassment survivors protect their rights and recover damages for losses related to these experiences. Every single person in our office is committed to providing a safe space for survivors to tell their stories, and receive the high-quality legal services and support needed to hold their employer accountable.
We know you've been through a lot—and we're here to make the fight for justice as easy for you as possible. You can always count on us to believe you, listen without judgment, and serve as your fierce legal advocate throughout the litigation process. We're also sensitive to any concerns you may have about working with a male attorney, which is why we also have female attorneys and paralegals on staff to assist you.
Recognizing Employment Sexual Harassment
Workers who've faced harassment often worry that they won't be believed, especially if what they experienced doesn't necessarily match society's idea of sexual harassment. Usually, this is quid pro quo harassment in which a boss offers to promote—or threatens to fire—an employee depending on their willingness to submit to sexual contact.
However, this isn't the only type of sexual harassment that can occur in an employment setting. Employment sexual harassment claims involving hostile work environments are even more common. These claims are based on a pattern of persistent and unwanted physical conduct and suggestive verbal actions that affects a worker's performance and result in an intimidating or offensive workplace. Examples include crude jokes, sexual innuendos, lewd remarks, and circulation of suggestive material.
Is an employer or coworker's inappropriate conduct making your workplace uncomfortable, offensive, or unsafe? We may be able to help.
Building a Strong Case For Damages
Not being believed is a common fear among workers who've faced on-the-job sexual harassment. While people may have been less receptive to claims of sexual harassment in years past, the tide appears to be turning in favor of believing and supporting survivors.
Regardless, at Bailess Law Firm, we'll do what we've always done—which is work to build a strong case for damages for each of our clients. We'll investigate the harassment, gather essential evidence, talk to people who witnessed the inappropriate conduct or experienced something similar, interview experts, and more to support your claim and maximize its value.
What to Do If You're Facing Sexual Harassment at Work
Report the harassment to a supervisor, your employer, an owner, or the company HR department as soon as possible. If you're being harassed by a supervisor, employee, or owner, consult a knowledgeable and experienced employment attorney for advice.
Talk to Us About Your Sexual Harassment Claim
Find out how Bailess Law Firm can help you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an initial review of your employment sexual harassment or hostile work environment case.
What does “quid pro quo” mean?
Quid pro quo harassment is a form of illegal workplace discrimination. If you've been sexually propositioned at work, you may have heard the term “quid pro quo,” and wondered what it meant and whether it describes what you've experienced. Here's what you need to know about quid pro quo sexual harassment in West Virginia, including how our empathetic attorneys can help you recover damages if you've suffered this type of unlawful employment discrimination.
Defining Quid Pro Quo Harassment and Learning to Recognize it in the Workplace
Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase meaning “this for that,” “something for something,” or “a favor for a favor.” When used in a workplace setting, the term describes a particularly insidious type of sexual harassment in which a supervisor, manager, or business owner uses a worker's willingness—or unwillingness—to engage in sexual conduct as a basis for making decisions about their employment.
Quid pro quo harassment is what comes to mind for most people when thinking of on-the-job sexual harassment, since it's the kind most commonly shown in pop culture. You may have seen this sort of harassment play out in popular movies like “Legally Blonde,” “Horrible Bosses” or “Disclosure.” Here are just a few examples of what it might look like in your workplace:
- An employer decides whether to hire, promote, or fire you based on your acceptance or rejection of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
- A supervisor gives or promises raises, promotions, more favorable assignments or shifts, or other job-related opportunities in exchange for engaging in sexual acts
- A manager threatens to reduce your hours, move you to a less favorable shift or position, fire you, or do something else to negatively affect your job or income if you refuse or discontinue sexual contact
- An employer bases your performance review on whether you comply with their sexual demands, rather than how well you do your job
Think you've experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment in employment? You may be entitled to compensation for damages.
Legal Protections for Workers
Sexually intimidating and harassing employees isn't just morally or ethically wrong, it's against the law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex-based discrimination in employment, including sexual harassment, and applies to companies with 15 or more employees. The West Virginia Human Rights Act (WVHRA), which offers even broader protections, also prohibits employers from engaging in this type of illegal conduct. It applies to employers in the Mountain State with 12 or more workers.
We Can Help You Hold Your Employer Accountable for Sexual Harassment
Being subjected to quid pro quo harassment in the workplace can leave you feeling trapped and without options. Fortunately, that's not the case. You don't have to put up with poor treatment, give in to your boss's demands, or quit your job. At Bailess Law Firm, our caring and capable employment lawyers can help you file a claim to hold your employer accountable for their unlawful behavior. We'll work diligently to gather evidence to build a case that proves:
- You were applying for a position or were employed at the company in question
- You experienced unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
- The person who harassed you was in a position of authority over you
- Conditional job opportunities were based on your response to your harasser's sexual demands
- You suffered harm as a result of the harassment you experienced
If your claim is successful, you may be able to recover damages for lost wages, lost benefits, lost employment opportunities, and emotional distress—and even get your job back if you were fired.
Talk to Us About Your Case
Facing sexual harassment is challenging—and there's far too much at stake to go it alone. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary initial consultation to discuss your experiences and how our team can assist you.
What should I do if my child is injured by a toy at daycare?
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 225,000 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2018. Approximately 37% of those injuries happened to children under the age of five.
Playing with games and toys is an important component of a child’s learning that takes place in a daycare center. However, it’s possible for toys to injure a child if they are not routinely inspected and maintained carefully. If your child is in a daycare facility or an in-home daycare, it’s important to know how toys can cause injuries.
Toys That Can Cause Injuries
Your child may have access to many types of toys at a daycare center, and most likely, they are well constructed and of high quality. However, some toys can be dangerous and cause injuries, including:
- Toys with sharp edges or points. Daycare toys that are made of weak or fragile plastic can shatter and leave sharp edges and points. Poor construction can also make these types of toys dangerous. Dolls may have clothing and hair accessories made with pins and staples that can pierce the skin of a child.
- Toys with safety warnings. Any toy that has a safety label citing the recommended age for child use should be taken seriously. Small children should not be playing with toys that aren’t approved for their age group. In addition, daycare providers should be aware of any toys with safety recalls issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Toys that make loud noises. Musical instruments and many new learn-and-play toys reach a sound level of 85 decibels (dB) or higher. This level of sound could damage the hearing of young children.
- Toys that fly. Projectile toys—for example, guns or lawn darts—or any toy that can be used as a weapon could cause an injury, especially to the eyes.
- Toys with small parts. Toys with detachable pieces or that are tiny enough to put in the mouth can get caught in the windpipe and cause a child to choke.
- Toys that are electric. Electric shock and/or burns can occur when children use electric toys that aren’t properly wired or constructed. These types of toys are recommended for children over eight and should be used only with caregiver supervision.
Liability in Toy-Related Injuries
Although most daycare centers follow their state laws for child care licensing and regulations, often caregiver negligence is responsible for toy-related injuries because the daycare center doesn’t follow child-to-caregiver ratios. It’s difficult for many daycare centers to hire and keep responsible caregivers, so they may accept more children than they can safely monitor. If a child is injured because there aren’t enough caregivers to provide proper and careful supervision, the center and/or the caregiver can be found liable.
In personal injury claims involving negligence, one important aspect is whether or not the injury was “foreseeable.” This means the caregiver could have or should have been able to “foresee” or anticipate the injury. For example, if a caregiver is talking on their cellphone or texting instead of paying attention to the group of children under her care, she will likely miss the child who turns a toy into a weapon and begins hurling it at other kids in the room. Or a child may decide to throw the small building blocks used for reading development and letter recognition, hitting a child in the eye. This type of injury could be perceived as foreseeable because the caregiver failed to supervise the situation.
Call Us If Your Child Is Injured at Daycare
If your child’s injury was due to a toy at a daycare center or you believe the injury was foreseeable, you may want to pursue a personal injury claim. The daycare negligence attorneys at Bailess Law Firm will start work immediately to investigate the events that caused your child’s injury, so you can concentrate on helping your child get well. Our firm has years of experience handling personal injury claims against daycare centers and caregivers, and we believe your child deserves a fair, legal recovery. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.