Workers’ Compensation Claims And Retaliation

You might realize that you are well within your rights to file a workers' compensation claim for an on-the-job injury, but in some workplaces you may face a surprisingly negative reaction. Being hurt on the job can cause you to experience pain in your personal life and to miss out on getting your full wages. It might get even worse, however, if you are treated differently and your career is damaged due to filing a claim. Workplace retaliation happens on a regular basis, so read on for more information about your rights when that happens.

Common retaliation actions

You should never allow the attitude or reactions of an employer prevent you from gaining the workers' compensation benefits you need and deserve. The actions you experience must be egregious and obvious for you to gain protection, however. For example, your supervisor may be unhappy about the entire situation and it's easy to understand why. When a worker is hurt and cannot work it might place a strain on the rest of the employees. Resentment and irritation from an employer are to be expected, but you cannot allege retaliation due to a bad attitude on their part—there has to be more.

Below are a few common retaliatory actions you might experience:

  • Being fired, suspended, demoted, laid off, etc.

  • Being blacklisted from promotions, raises, and other career-boosting activities

  • Denial of benefits

  • Denial of overtime opportunities

  • Reduction in pay or hours

  • Disciplinary measures

  • Intimidation, either outright or subtle

  • Reassignments and moves to other locations

  • Threats of any of the above and more

Proving retaliation

You are entitled to protections against retaliation but you must prove it. You should be able to show that:

  • You took the correct actions when you filed a claim against a work-related injury or occupational illness.

  • You are entitled to gain workers' compensation benefits.

  • You suffered from retaliatory actions.

  • You were retaliated against by your employer as a result of filing a claim.

Take action

If you know you are being retaliated against for filing a workers' comp claim, speak first to your supervisor and then to your human resources department. You may believe this to be a waste of time but the point is to have a record of trying to resolve the issue by going through the right channels. You should know that you are protected by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act against this type of behavior, so speak to an employment law or workers' compensation attorney at once.