When Your Workers' Comp Claim Causes Employer Retaliation

Posted on: 27 February 2019

Getting hurt while working is bad enough, but what if your workers' compensation insurance claim caused you to experience workplace retaliation? When a work-related injury ends up damaging your career as well, you might be suffering from retaliation. Read on to find out what you can do to fight against this form of workplace discrimination.

Why Are You Being Retaliated Against?

You might be more concerned with healing from your injury than finances, but workplace injuries cost employers money. Someone has to pay for the workers' compensation insurance premiums, and that cost is borne by your company and not you. Just as with all types of insurance, the premiums can rise when claims are filed.

Additionally, workplace injuries can cause valued employees like yourself to be out of work for weeks or even months at a time. It's expensive to hire and train replacements, and employers are required to hold your job for you until the insurance doctor has cleared you to return to work. The extra load must be carried by your coworkers, and the stress can affect them and your supervisors negatively. Once you are cleared to return to work, you might begin to experience some negative behaviors as a result of your claim. Given this, it's easy to see how retaliation can occur.

What Does Workplace Retaliation Look Like?

The actions must rise to a higher level than that of disgruntlement. Here are some examples of retaliatory actions to be aware of once you return to work.

  • Reduced pay or hours
  • Reassignment to other positions
  • Denial of overtime chances
  • Denial of benefits like workers' compensation or others
  • Being passed over for promotions and raises
  • Being fired, demoted, or laid off

Taking Action Against Retaliation

If you believe that your workers' compensation claim is resulting in retaliatory actions from your employers, you must take action. Begin keeping a log of retaliatory behavior that you believe is the result of your workers' comp claim, and then report those findings to your supervisor. If your supervisor is taking any part in the retaliatory behavior, go to the next level supervisor and to your human resources division. You must be able to show that you went through proper channels, even if the reporting doesn't seem to be effective. The 1935 National Labor Relations Act is meant to protect employees who are retaliated against, so if you are not being taken seriously, speak to a workers' compensation attorney at once.


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