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Workers' compensation and retaliation: What to watch for

After an accident at work, it may be necessary to file a workers' compensation claim for injuries that put you out of work during recovery. Most employers in the state are required by law to carry workers' comp insurance and employees have every right to file a claim when their injuries are directly related to work activities. You will need the pay benefits to make up for lost earnings until you return to your full capacity. So, when you file a legitimate claim, you have every right to expect it to be approved. 

 

Unfortunately, things don't always work out as planned. Not only could you receive a denial letter, but you may also come to learn that your employer is retaliating against you. Why would an employer try to prevent a claim from going through: Money. When a worker files a claim, there is a chance the company's worker's compensation insurance premium will increase. Not always, but many employers don't want to take that chance. 

In regard to a workers' compensation denial, you have the legal right to file an appeal. Sometimes, this is all it takes in order to have the initial decision overturned.

As far as retaliation, there are two things you absolutely need to do:

  • Keep records that prove you're a victim of retaliation
  • Learn how to protect your legal rights

What is workers' compensation retaliation?

Workers' compensation retaliation is exactly what it sounds like. This is when your employer takes some type of adverse action against you, such as terminating your employment, as a result of your claim.

Keep in mind that retaliation can come into play regardless of the outcome of your claim. Just because you were denied, for example, it doesn't mean that your employer won't retaliate.

Why does it happen?

Some employers understand the importance of the workers' compensation system and the health of their employees. Others, however, look down on anyone who files a claim. Some of the most common circumstances surrounding retaliation include:

  • Too many workers' compensation claims in the past, so the employer takes action against this
  • After a denial, the company assumes it's okay to terminate employment
  • After a claim is settled, there is a quick discharge

In many cases, employers are only looking out for what's best for them. For example, they know that too many workers' compensation claims will increase their costs, so they look to deny these and terminate anyone who has sought benefits.

If you find yourself facing trouble after a workplace injury, it's time to protect your legal rights. No one wants to fight back against their employer, but you need to do what's best for you, your finances and your career.

Review our website and blog for additional guidance and advice pertaining to the workers' compensation system.

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