Normally, an employee cannot successfully sue in court if the employee gets sick or is hurt on the job due to employer negligence. The employee will probably have to file a workers’ compensation claim instead. Workers’ compensation is usually the only way an employee can recover money for injuries and lost wages suffered because of an unsafe workplace.
But an employee will have the right to sue an employer for intentional conduct such as harassment and invasion of privacy. In that case, the employee could recover money damages much higher than a workers’ compensation award.
A worker can sue a third-party (not the employer) for injuries sustained for negligence in design or product. For example a defective machine at work caused an injury to a workers hand. The worker could sue the manufacturer of the machine under a theory of product liability. Technically, the worker has two lawsuits, one against the employer under the no-fault workers compensation laws and a second under tort law based on product liability.