When you experience injuries at work, you need workers’ compensation benefits to support yourself while your injuries heal. You must tell your employer about your injury to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may be fearful of filing a claim due to potential employer retaliation in Wakefield workers’ comp cases.
State law prohibits employers from firing you because you filed a workers’ comp claim. Nonetheless, your employer can fire you or take other action against you when there is a legal reason to do so. You may need to enlist the services of a workers’ compensation lawyer if you believe that your employer has taken retaliatory action against you. To get started on a case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.
Types of Retaliation in Wakefield Workers’ Comp Claims
Employers may not retaliate or take any adverse action against employees who suffer injuries or illness while on the job. The filing of a workers’ compensation claim does not justify any retaliatory measures, which can include the following:
- Terminating, demoting, or reassigning workers from their current position
- Giving bad performance reviews to workers or making false statements about their work performance
- Harassing or intimidating workers into resigning or accepting a demotion or reassignment
- Imposing a disproportionate disciplinary action against workers in comparison to other employees
Any other unfavorable employment action in response to a workers’ compensation claim is also prohibited. Employers who take any retaliatory steps in response to a workers’ compensation claim can face sanctions. As a result, injured employees who experience employer retaliation in workers’ comp cases in Wakefield may wish to contact legal counsel at once.
Downside of Speaking with Human Resources
In some cases, employees who believe that they are experiencing retaliation may wish to consult the human resources department at their workplaces. However, in many situations, human resources will defend the actions of a manager or company owner. As a result, individuals may find it necessary to consult with legal counsel experienced in handling workers’ compensation matters.
Legal Action that Employers May Take in Workers’ Comp Cases
If employers have legitimate reasons to fire or demote injured workers, they legally can do so. Likewise, if employers need to fill a position open as a result of an injured employee, they also can fill that position while the employee is out of work. These actions by employers would not be retaliatory under state law.
Employees who suspect retaliatory conduct on the part of their employers may wish to begin documenting this conduct, even if the behavior has not yet risen to the level of retaliation. Taking the time to document these incidents and actions in detail can be useful if employer retaliation occurs in Wakefield workers’ comp cases.
Remedies for Employer Retaliation Against Injured Workers
State law allows employees who believe that they have suffered retaliation as a result of their workers’ comp claims to file suit against their employers. Under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 152, § 75B, if employees are successful in proving retaliation, the court may order employers to pay lost wages, attorney’s fees, and the costs of finding suitable and comparable employment.
Aggrieved employees may have remedies in specific situations under applicable federal laws, as well. For instance, the Family and Medical Leave Act protects jobs for up to 12 weeks while employees are recovering from a medical condition or injury. The American with Disabilities Act also may require employers to continue employing disabled workers who can do their jobs with reasonable accommodations.
Workers’ Comp Cases in Wakefield and Employer Retaliation
You have the right to exercise your rights without fear of employer retaliation. State law entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits when you suffer injury or illness due to a condition or accident at your job. You may be able to effectively address employer retaliation in Wakefield workers’ comp cases with the assistance of legal counsel.
If you have suffered retaliation due to filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may have a claim for compensation against your employer. You potentially can recover for the job loss that you have suffered, as well as the costs of suing your lawyer for retaliation. For more information on your legal rights and options, consult with a workers’ comp lawyer.