Imagine a situation in which you suffer a serious injury on the job. Not only does this result in health concerns and a potentially long recovery process, but it could also have an impact on your personal finances.
Fortunately, you come to find that you’re eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits until you can return to work.
While you’re 100% entitled to these benefits, it’s possible that your employer may not agree with your decision. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that filing a claim will cost them more money in insurance premiums over the long run.
Your employer should treat you with respect during this challenging time, but that doesn’t always happen. Instead, they may decide to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Retaliation comes in many forms, including the following:
- Termination: While your employer isn’t likely to come right out and say it, they could terminate your employment because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
- Demotion: When you’re ready to return to work, you find that your company no longer has your position available. Instead, they’ve demoted you to another position, one that doesn’t have nearly as many responsibilities.
- Pay cut: After time away from work, you’re anxious to get back. And not just because you miss your job, but also because you want to earn your full salary again. If retaliation is on the mind of your employer, you may find that they’ve cut your pay.
- Emotional retaliation: This can be just as damaging as other forms of retaliation. An example is a supervisor who constantly criticizes you about taking time off from work because of a “minor” injury. Jokes are one thing, but continual emotional retaliation can take its toll.
You have rights as an employee, and you should never let your company encroach on them.
Should you feel that you’ve been the victim of workers’ compensation retaliation, talk to your HR department about your concerns. From there, collect as much evidence as you can find, learn more about your legal rights and then take the appropriate action to protect yourself.