You were injured at work and rightfully filed a workers’ compensation claim. Although your employer complied with federal and state law and provided compensation while you recovered and covered your medical bills, you are now wondering if you are the target of retaliation. What should you do?
What is Employer Retaliation?
Employers who face increased insurance costs as a result of workers’ compensation claims may be tempted to target employees who seek their rightful workers compensation benefits with harassing and punitive behavior during medical leave or when they return to work. For the most part, it is against the law for your employer to terminate your employment or retaliate against you in other ways simply because you brought a workers’ compensation claim.
Examples of Employee Retaliation
Although federal and state law mandate the “no-fault” medical insurance plan known as Workers’ Compensation, some employers may unlawfully retaliate against employees who file for this provision with passive aggressive behaviors. Examples of this kind of discrimination include:
- Undeserved demotion
- Poor or critical performance reviews
- Failure to promote when expected or deserved
- Denial of various employee benefits such as time off, vacation scheduling or other insurance claims
- Intimidation, threats or harassment in the workplace
- Discriminatory transfer to a new work location or assignment
- Sudden or unexplained wage reduction or failure to pay earned bonuses
What are your rights?
The workers’ compensation system provides:
- replacement income you’re are off work responding to your injury
- payments for medical expenses, including doctors’ visits, surgeries, and prescription drugs that may be required depending on your case
- vocational rehabilitation benefits — including on-the-job training, education, or job placement assistance
If it’s determined that you were legitimately hurt or contracted an illness while trying to perform your job, you’re entitled to the above benefits without fault or retaliation from your employer.
What if employers don’t comply with Workers’ Compensation laws?
Employers have a number of obligations under the workers’ compensation system. If employers do not meet these requirements, those employers can be fined and the injured employees may have reason to sue an employer in court for punitive money damages.
Do you feel you are the target of employer retaliation?
Depending on the facts of your individual case and whether your state has a law protecting against workers compensation retaliation, you may need to seek legal representation like a qualified workers’ compensation attorney.
Caulfield Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Contact Tampa Bay’s injury law expert Bryan Caulfield today. Connect with us online or call 800.535.2529.