If you get hurt at work and file a workers' compensation claim, you are within your rights. The employer provides this form of insurance for workers that get hurt and if you qualify, you should take advantage of this valuable benefit. Unfortunately, some workers find themselves not only dealing with the pain of a work-related injury, but other problems as well. Read on to learn more about workplace retaliation – why it happens and what to do about it.
From Your Employer's Point of View
You might not realize how deep the impact of a workplace injury can go, but it might help to see things from another point of view. Your employer is being deprived of an employee as long as you are at home and recuperating from your injury. That might mean shifting current workers around, paying overtime to a worker or even having to hire a temporary worker to take your place. Additionally, employers will sometimes see their workers' comp insurance premiums rise when claims are filed. Your coworkers may need to work harder to fill in, and they may feel resentful towards you. Annoyance and resentment notwithstanding, you have the right to stay home as long as your doctor deems necessary.
Understanding Retaliatory Acts
The line between annoyance and retaliation might not be as fine as you think. You don't have to put up with the negative behaviors prompted by being out of work due to a work-related injury. Take a look at some workplace behaviors that might cross the line as a result of using workers' compensation:
- You are demoted in position, fired, laid off, suspended, etc.
- You have been denied benefits that other workers routinely receive.
- You have been blacklisted from career-enhancing actions like promotions and raises.
- You are being denied overtime pay.
- Your hours have been reduced while other worker's hours remain the same.
- You have been unfairly targeted for disciplinary issues.
- You have been reassigned to less desirable locations or conditions.
Proving Retaliatory Acts and Taking Action
You are protected by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act against retaliation for using worker's comp. Be sure to document the retaliatory actions and speak up about the issue to your supervisor. You should attempt to resolve the issue before you take legal actions against your employer. You do not have to tolerate retaliation in the workplace, so speak to a workers' compensation attorney like those at Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP to learn more about your rights to financial compensation.