Statistics released in late February by the Stamford Public School System shows that 148 employees filed claims for workers’ compensation for injuries that they’d suffered from mold exposure during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This accounts for 38 percent of all claims submitted by any city employees. Only 80 of those claims submitted by paraprofessionals and teachers were filed for other types of injuries or illnesses.
When asked to comment on the high number of mold-related claims filed in the district, one of Stamford’s Board of Education members questioned what the source of the information was. She noted that, as far as she’s aware, there have been only three workers’ compensation claims filed by custodians, the actual workers who are responsible for cleaning it up. She notes there have been significantly more filed by the teaching staff.
She points out that it doesn’t make any sense why teachers would be filing more claims than custodial workers. She argues that she personally believes that they’re taking advantage of the system.
Data published in December of last year tells a different story, though. It was just a few months ago that the school district announced that some 93 workers at Westhill, Westover Magnet had been transferred to other schools in the area because of a mold infestation. Teachers at Northeast, K.T. Murphy, Hart Magnet and Newfield Elementary Schools all filed mold claims that same month.
An analysis of the filings reveals that most of the claimants were out of work for a short period of time. Some were out for longer as they struggled with persistent head colds.
The number of mold claims filed this most recent fiscal year has so far exceeded those filed in the two previous years. The average costs of claims this year has been $2,000.
School board members have offered to let teachers work on lesson planning at their central office, but they note that this has only resulted in more teachers claiming that the headquarters and their assigned schools are both making them sick.
Mold can cause lasting respiratory illness, especially if its toxic particles are inhaled on an extended basis. If you’re looking to find out what type of injuries are covered under workers’ compensation laws in Connecticut, a workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with that information as well as details on how to file a claim.