SAN FRANCISCO — A California woman says her employer retaliated against her for wearing a helmet during a crash while she was on a break from work.
A woman wearing a Seat Belt program head covering at a California school district says she was ordered to remove her helmet while working in the field.
“They told me to get off my bike, so I got off my bicycle and put my helmet on,” the woman, who asked that her name not be published, said in an interview with NBC Bay Area.
She says she walked to a nearby field to check on another woman who had suffered a head injury in a collision and had to be flown to the hospital.
When the woman refused to get out of her car to help her, she said, she was told to get on the ground and take her helmet off.
After that, the woman says, a supervisor from the district told her that she had violated the seat belt policy, which says the head coverings are required to be worn by drivers during crash recovery.
The woman says she had been on a six-hour break at a school in Rosalee, California, and that she would have been out of the office until at least 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, according to a statement from the school district.
The woman did not want to be interviewed for this story, but her attorney, Joseph Kohn, said that he plans to sue.
I would think the district would be taking this very seriously, Kohn said in a statement.
This type of retaliation is unheard of, and it’s not reflective of the values of the community at all.
Kohn said the woman was wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash and that her injuries were minor.
In the statement, the district says it has an “ongoing safety plan” that includes a requirement that all employees wear seat belts at all times, and to notify drivers immediately if they need to take off their seat belts while on the road.
According to the statement on the district website, the plan includes mandatory safety education for all drivers and staff, as well as mandatory helmet use.
If an employee is injured in a crash, the company will conduct a crash investigation and conduct a safety review, it said.
Kohn says the district also should have sent an email alert to employees informing them that a driver is required to wear a seatbelt, as is required by California law.
And if a person is ejected from a vehicle, the driver must wear his or her seatbelt until they have cleared the crash scene, the statement said.