Can my Employer Retaliate if I File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
- Posted on: Aug 30 2018
Some people are hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim, even if they know their case is completely valid, because they’re afraid that their employer will retaliate against them. While this is certainly not something that should occur, it does. Many states do have laws that state employers may not retaliate in any way against workers, some states don’t. It can also sometimes be difficult to prove that your employer’s actions are a direct result of the workers’ comp claim you’ve filed.
What Does the Law Say?
Workers’ comp laws are not universal—each state has its own laws, and while some are very similar, some are fairly different. For example, many states do have laws that protect your job if you file a workers’ comp claim, but there are some where your employer could fire you. There is no federal law protecting employees who have filed workers’ comp claims.
What Are Protected Activities?
In order to show that you’re being retaliated against, you have to have engaged in a protected activity under your state’s workers’ comp laws. These protected activities, again, do differ from state to state. Most are fairly broad and offer protection to those who have filed a claim, alerted their employer that they are intending to file a claim, or have sustained some sort of injury while on the job. Some states do require you to file a formal document stating that you were injured, but many do not. Even in states that don’t necessarily require this documentation, it’s always a good idea to file the paperwork anyway. It helps back up your claim and creates a paper trail for the series of events surrounding your injury.
What Counts as Retaliation?
Retaliation can come in many forms and is often unique to your situation. Broad forms of retaliation from an employer include being demoted, having your responsibilities changed, lowering your pay, or bringing unwarranted disciplinary actions against you.
You should never let your employer or anyone else intimidate you into not filing a valid workers’ comp claim, especially if you were severely injured. Maximum Orthopedics is here to help you file these claims and receive the compensation you’re due. Contact us today to learn more about what filing a claim involves.