Being injured at work can create a difficult situation for an employee and employer, but it should never cause workplace retaliation. Employers are prohibited by law from punishing employees for receiving workers’ compensation. This punishment is not limited to termination and can include a variety of different negative actions.
You Are Protected Against Employer Retaliation by Law
Employees are protected by the federal law to voice their complaints about retaliation for workers’ compensation and other workplace discrimination and harassment. You are still protected even if the claim ends up being unsubstantiated, as long as the complaint was made in good faith.
Employee rights against retaliation are either supported by internal programs in the company or by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC also protects employees who report unsafe working conditions. This type of protection gives you the right to voice any complaint about unfair treatment due to retaliation associated with workers’ compensation, as long as the complaint is made in good faith.
Signs of Workplace Retaliation for Workers’ Compensation
Workplace retaliation includes negative actions that would discourage employees from further seeking their workers’ compensation claim. These actions can include but are not limited to:
- Employment termination
- Being demoted
- Receiving unnecessary discipline
- A reduction in pay
- Being denied a raise or promotion
- Negative responsibility or shift changes
- An unfair performance review
How to Respond to Workplace Retaliation
If after reviewing the signs of workplace retaliation you feel that you are being unfairly punished, you should first respond by speaking with your supervisor or human resources manager. You have the right to ask specific questions pertaining to your concerns. There may be a reasonable explanation documented as to why your employer has chosen to make a change in your working conditions.
If you do not feel satisfied with the response from your employer, make them aware that you feel you are being retaliated against. Your employer will likely deny the accusation. In this instance you should show that the negative behavior took place only after you received workers’ compensation. At this point, there should be some action made to correct the retaliation.
What To Do If Your Employer Will Not Correct Retaliation
If your employer is unwilling to correct the damages done by unfair treatment due to your injury, then you will need to begin building your case. You will need to show that there is a direct link between the retaliation and your workers’ compensation claim. Your case will be strengthened by the more evidence you have supporting your claim.
Make sure to document what the retaliatory behavior was and when it occurred. If you have proof that the negative behavior was unwarranted, make sure to have that available. Once the situation has escalated to this point you will need to seek the guidance of an experienced, honest attorney who understands employee rights. Lieser Law Firm has the experience and knowledge to defend those employees facing workers’ compensation workplace retaliation.