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OFF BEAT: San Francisco official famous for mocking workers comp files for it


A former San Francisco city official famously skeptical of workers compensation claims is now asking for the city cover a claim contending that he was injured by stress on the job.

According to a report in The SFGate, Henry Alvarez, the former head of the San Francisco Housing Authority, filed the claim on April 26, two weeks after being fired from his post. Mr. Alvarez claims that he sustained injuries to his back and neck and seeks disability payments, health care and a voucher worth up to $10,000 for job training, according to the report.

Ironically, while at his post, Mr. Alvarez clashed with several employees over their use of disability and paternity leave. Two former employees have filed suit against Mr. Alvarez and the Housing Authority for discrimination after being fired while on disability leave.

“We find it the height of hypocrisy that after an extensive record of saying that anyone who takes workers comp is a malingerer and a fraud, Mr. Alvarez then files for it,” Heidi Machen, an attorney for one of the workers, told the newspaper.

Byron Smith, an attorney for Mr. Alvarez, said the claims are related to stress from the job. “It’s all secondary to stress,” Mr. Smith said.