Employer Retaliation in Worker's Comp Cases May Include More Than You Realize

Imagine that you’re sitting at home recuperating from a nasty fall that took place while you were on the job. You decide to call your employer’s Human Resources Director to ask about receiving compensation to cover your prescription meds and she curtly tells you that it’s not in your best interest to file a Worker's Comp claim. Then she goes on the make veiled threats indicating that anyone who has ever filed one against the company in the past has ended up in the unemployment line. When you finally hang up the phone, you wonder what your options are now.

Sadly, scenarios like the one we just described happen to good Americans every year. For concrete proof, one only has to look at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Annual Enforcement and Litigation Data. In the last few years, it has consistently shown that a disturbing number of hard working individuals find themselves victims of employer retaliation in Worker's Comp cases. In just FY 2013 alone, far more than 38,000 people tragically found themselves involved in such scenarios and that figure only includes people that actually went so far as to file a claim.

Many people, upon having conversations like the one we talked about earlier, assume that the amount of compensation they’d receive by keeping their jobs far outweighs what they’d get by filing a Worker’s Compensation claim. So they just stay silent, never realizing that employers may retaliate against them in other financially damaging ways. Based on interpretation of the law as it stands now, examples include things like threatening to cut the employee’s hours, significantly changing his or her job description without justifiable cause and purposely withholding benefits in an effort to coerce the victim into behaving in a desirable way.

With that said, it is important for people to know that they don’t have to remain victims of employer retaliation in Worker’s Comp cases. Depending on their unique circumstances, there may be one or more legal recourses available to them. To continue this discussion and find out more, please reach out and contact us today.