How Employee Rights May Be Violated From Workers Comp Retaliation

Workers Compensation Lawyer

A worker who was hurt while performing job-related tasks, has the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits so medical expenses and lost wages can be covered until they are better. However, some employers may be reluctant to readily accept a workers compensation claim and may do what they can to get it denied. Or in other cases, the claim was approved and now the employer is acting with malice against the employee using these benefits. Employees who believe they may be experiencing such mistreatment can meet with a lawyer to find out more about legal protections, and whether their rights have in fact been violated.

Q: What motivates an employer to retaliate?

A: An employer may be afraid of how much the injury claim is going to cost the company. Not all companies operate with respect for workers, and may be purely focused on the profit of the organization. Sadly, this means workers who have been injured may suffer from retaliation.

Q: Is employer retaliation for using workers’ comp benefits illegal?

A: It is unlawful for an employer to be vengeful towards an employee for applying for and/or receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Any worker who feels his or her career, livelihood, or safety is threatened must talk with a lawyer right away before things have a chance to worsen.

Q: What are examples of how an employer may retaliate?

A: Most employees hope that in the event of a terrible injury accident, that their employer will be supportive and do the right thing when handling the situation. It can be devastating to find out that this may not be the case. There are federal and state laws that help protect employees from enduring a wide range of retaliatory behaviors, such as:

  • Termination
  • Hour reduction
  • Demotion
  • Decrease in pay
  • Transfer to another department
  • Change of worker’s schedule
  • Scrutiny and hostility within the work environment
  • Verbal threats or abuse
  • Unwarranted disciplinary actions or performance reviews

Q: Are employees ever afraid to report an injury accident?

A: Yes, the culture of a workplace may be to hide injuries to see if they get better first, before reporting it to the employer. Employees may be afraid of retaliation or being treated poorly amongst their coworkers for filing an incident report. Sometimes employers cut corners when it comes to safety of the workplace. A company may put a temporary patch on a hazard that needs further repair, as a way to cut costs. It isn’t uncommon for workers to become hurt due to these dangerous work conditions, that went ignored or not entirely attended to by the company.

Q: When is it time to meet with a lawyer?

A: Any employee who has been retaliated against for using or applying for workers’ compensation benefits, should meet with a Plantation, FL workers compensation lawyer without hesitation. The longer a person waits, the worse the situation can get. An employer may even outright fire an employee for using such benefits. It is best to get legal protection from the start, to help prevent unlawful disciplinary actions from occurring.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and employee rights.

Posted on February 12, 2019 @ 6:29 pm

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