Utah Employee Who Died of Cancer Is Denied Relief Under Workers’ Compensation Act

A Utah resident was refused time-off by her employer to have a lump removed, and subsequently denied workers’ compensation benefits. The employee’s name was Gina Cook and her employer was Zions Bank, in Utah.

When she asked for permission to have a full day off to get a lump on her lower lip removed, a surgery recommended by her doctor, her employer denied her. This was during a time Zions was taking on a new computer system and merging with another bank; employees were told they could not take time off during this transition period.

Almost three months after her initial request, the bank approved a day for Cook to have her surgery. Cook fell ill and had to reschedule the surgery. The bank did not approve another day off until a month later. Cook finally had the lump removed on May 20, 1994.

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