Workers' comp is designed to provide you with financial protection if you are injured while performing your job. It can help you recover money lost on medical bills and lost wages while you are at home recovering. However, your employer may not be happy about it when you get back to work. It's possible that they'll retaliate against you and try to make your life difficult because you made a claim. Here is what you need to know about if your employer retaliates against you for using workers' comp.
Why Would an Employer Retaliate?
You may be wondering what would cause your employer to retaliate against you when you return to work. The answer is as simple as the money you cost them and the inconvenience you caused. By making a claim, their insurance premiums for workers' comp will likely increase. If you were paid wages while recovering, those are wages paid out of the employers pocket while nobody was working your position. If you had a replacement during recovery, there was time wasted training somebody for a job they would eventually have to leave when you returned to work.
While it's easy to see why an employer would want to retaliate against you, it is against the law to do so.
What Are Examples of Retaliation?
An employer may try to reduce your pay, which can be as straightforward as reducing your hourly rate or as subtle as cutting your hours. This is considered a demotion, and that is prohibited by an employer when an employee is returning from workers' comp leave. You may also be given performance reviews that are inaccurate, which are designed as a way to find a reason to fire you from your job.
If your injury is permanent and you are not able to perform the same job that you once did, that is not grounds for being fired either. Your employer must train you to work a new position at your skill level rather than let you go because of performance issues.
What Can You Do If Suffering From Retaliation?
You should hire a workers' compensation attorney to fight on your behalf if you are feeling like you are a victim of retaliation. They will help come up with the evidence that proves any demotion or firing was not a result of a decline in your performance. A lawyer can look at this situation as a neutral third party and let you know if you have a valid case on your hands.Share