Sunday, August 24, 2008

Workman's Compensation

Shortly after entering barber school I received a letter from the City of Charlotte Treasurer asking me to come to his office to discuss some issues. During the meeting, he shared that the City wanted me to repay them for the Workman's Compensation that I was paid while I worked for the City. I told him that I did not have any money and I could not foresee any time in the near future that I would have the money to repay them. He sent me to see the City Manager who also said that I would have to repay the money. In addition he said that I was to return all of the clothes that the fire department had given me while actively serving on the force. Pointing at my shoes, he stated that he even wanted that pair of two years old shoes and all of the used pants and shirts. He said that the City would work with me by just deducting $125.00 a month from my $250.00 disability retirement check. At this point I got mad and told him that I had a wife and three little children and he was taking away the only way that I had to feed them. I refused to leave and told him that I was going to stay in his office until he told me that he would not take the money from my paycheck. He sharply told me that he had ways to get me out of his office and back on the road. At that point I told him that I had called a reporter from the Charlotte News and shared that I might need him to come down to his office that afternoon. He finely said he would try to work something out but I still would have to return the clothes and shoes, I took off my shoes and placed them on his desk and walked the two blocks back to the barber school which had already closed for the day. On this day I was so glad that I did not have on a pair of Fire Department issued pants. Walking in public in bare feet is one thing, walking in bare feet and boxers is another!

After I left the City I could not keep my health insurance. The City wanted to sever all ties and free them with all other responsible of me. I tried to get some help from Chief Walter Black who I thought up until this time was a good man to help me but all that he said was that his hands were tied and that he could not take sides against the City. He said that their attorneys had taken care of all the legal stuff. He said that he had no say as to how I should be treated.

I called several lawyers and they told me that being retired on disabilities was a new thing for the fire department and that it would cost me more than I could afford. They advised me to take what the city offered and go on with my life. That is just what I did; I turned it all over to God and told him that it was His problem from that point forward. I never had to repay the Workman’s Compensation. Listen as I tell this story.

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