An on-the-job injury could have a major impact on your life. If an employer intimidates or retaliates against you in order to prevent you from filing a workers’ comp claim, matters could be made even worse.
Getting seasoned legal guidance may be essential if you are concerned about employer retaliation in a Boston workers’ compensation case. A qualified workers’ compensation lawyer could help you protect your rights and seek the recovery you deserve, even in the face of negative attention from your employer.
Defining Employer Retaliation in Boston
Workers’ compensation laws provide important benefits to employees in Boston who are hurt on the job. These and other protections cannot work, however, unless workers feel they can file claims without fear that their employer will fire, demote, or otherwise punish them for exercising their legal right to seek compensation.
For this reason, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 152 §75B(2) makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee for exercising their workers’ compensation rights or cooperating in a workers’ compensation case. An employee who could prove retaliation against them may be able to seek damages and other relief through a civil lawsuit against the offending employer.
If successful in such an endeavor, you could be entitled to monetary compensation for your lost wages and attorney’s fees. You could also be reinstated into suitable employment if you were terminated or demoted. The judge may additionally order other relief as they see fit.
Proving Retaliation Over Workers’ Compensation
To prove employer retaliation in Boston workers’ compensation cases, an employee and their attorney must establish that they engaged in a protected activity, that the employer took an adverse action against them, and that a causal link exists between the first two elements.
Protected activity could include many actions related to workers’ comp, such as:
- Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits
- Reporting an on-the-job injury
- Asking about workers’ compensation coverage
- Serving as a witness in someone else’s claim
- Contacting the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents about workers’ compensation matters
The second element of a retaliation claim, though, is an adverse action, which requires evidence that the employer took some negative action against you. This does not always have to be something as drastic as termination, but could also include anything that might deter you from exercising your legal rights. Additional examples of adverse actions include:
- Demotion or taking away work hours
- Changing working conditions—for example, assigning you to an unfavorable location
- Blacklisting, including negative references
- Reporting to immigration authorities
- Assault, threats, or other intimidation
Naturally, retaliation cases differ depending on their individual facts and circumstances. The experienced guidance of a seasoned attorney could prove crucial to understanding whether an employee retaliation case may be appropriate in Boston.
How to Defend Against Employer Retaliation in a Boston Workers’ Compensation Case
While an injury could be traumatizing, dealing with an aggressive employer could be overwhelming. If you were injured on the job and wish to seek recovery but are concerned about employer retaliation, contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer for professional assistance could prove invaluable.
A skilled attorney could help you understand your rights and provide guidance about actions you could take to address your employer’s retaliation and seek the compensation you and your family need. For more information about employer retaliation in Boston workers’ compensation cases and how a lawyer could help, call today to schedule a consultation.