Did you know that it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ comp claim? Workers in most states are supposed to be afforded protection against on-the-job injuries though the workers’ compensation insurance process. And employers are required to both provide such insurance and to protect the jobs of workers that have been injured on the job.
But there are a number of employers out there who think it is perfectly legitimate to fire a worker who collects workers’ compensation and needs doctor-ordered time off to recover from their injuries. This type of retaliation firing makes many workers reluctant to even report most injuries for fear of losing their jobs. But let’s be clear about this – such firings are completely illegal! And most employers who engage in this sort of behavior may not believe they can face a retaliation claim lawsuit.
We at The Cartwright Law Firm want you to know about your rights, and what to do if you find yourself facing this type of retaliation. First, you have the right to NOT be retaliated against for being afforded such protections under the law. On-the-job injuries are not some choice you made, but that arose out of the actual work you do, and therefore employers cannot fire or threaten to fire you because you need to deal with your injuries.
You should attempt to document your injury as fully as possible:
- Where, when, and how did the injury occur?
- What witnesses were present?
- When and how did you inform management of the injury?
- What did your manager or supervisor say, and what tone did they use?
- Did you go to a doctor or hospital? What did the doctor say?
- Were you given a written order by your doctor to stay off work for a specified period? Did the doctor give you a date of return to work, in writing?
- Did you provide copies of these doctor orders to your manager, supervisor, or HR department, and when?
- What response did you receive when you presented these doctor orders to your place of work?
You need to document everything you were told, and keep copies of every communication you receive from management regarding your injuries, any threats of retaliation, however subtle, and should you receive such threats, to file a formal complaint with your HR department for inclusion into your personnel file.
And don’t wait until you are actually fired to seek legal counsel. Contact The Cartwright Law Firm for a free evaluation of your legal situation, and take advantage of our substantial experience dealing with employers who refuse to follow the law. Retaliation claims are something we take very seriously. You have the right to be free of such intimidation on top of the injuries you have already suffered.