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The public eye and caustic scrutiny moves quickly to claims of industrial injury made by workers who are perceived by the public or the press to be “politically incorrect.” Last week the press was hard on John Pike, a former U.S. Marine with 17 years of law enforcement experience, who gained worldwide notoriety after he pepper-sprayed seated, unarmed Occupy UC Davis protesters who blocked police on a Quad sidewalk on Nov. 18, 2011. Pike applied for worker’s compensation, claiming he suffered psychiatric injury from the 2011 confrontation. Protesters threatened to picket the WCAB district office where his August MSC was to be held. The parties took the MSC off calendar to circumvent the planned protest.

This week the focus is on the tale of Henry Alvarez’s departure from the imploding San Francisco Housing Authority. When Alvarez went on paid medical leave back in February, before being fired in April, he took heat for setting up a restaurant in Berkeley while presumably too ill to do his day job as the executive director for the city’s public housing agency.

Now it turns out that Alvarez has filed a workers’ compensation claim contending he was injured from stress on the job – his full-time one at the Housing Authority, according to new stories. He is seeking disability payments, health care and a voucher worth up to $10,000 for job training. Alvarez contends that he was injured on Jan. 29, records show. That’s four days after he requested his leave of absence for “personal reasons” and indicated he would not seek to renew his contract, which expired in June.

The story in the San Francisco Chronicle characterizes his claim as “laced with irony.”

Alvarez filed the claim April 26, about two weeks after he was fired amid mounting concern about his leadership of the public housing agency, which was about to run out of money, was rated one of the two worst in the state, and was the subject of a federal probe into its contracting practices. The Housing Authority was also defending itself against lawsuits from three former employees, including two who said they were discriminated against for taking paternity or disability leave.

In one case, Beverly Bernell Myres, a workers’ compensation analyst with the Housing Authority, said she was fired while out on disability leave with a knee injury. Her lawsuit alleges Alvarez asked in a meeting, “How can the workers’ comp person be out on workers’ comp?” He also allegedly “made derisive comments” about her disability, the suit says. “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,” said Heidi Machen, Myres’ attorney.