You’ve been hurt on the job. You just want fair compensation to cover your medical bills and to help you get back on your feet. That’s what workers’ compensation is meant to do. As an employee, you have the right to file a claim against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance if you’ve sustained an injury. What’s more, you also have protections against actions taken against you, as an employee, for filing such a claim.
Are You Facing Discrimination as a Result of Filing a Claim?
Injuries occur in workplaces rather commonly. Consider, for a moment, that in 2015, a total of 4,836 fatal injuries occurred in workplaces in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, 2.9 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported by employers in the U.S. in 2015, according to labor statistics. Accidents happen. They are expected. That’s why there is workers’ compensation in the first place. Even the most organized, clean, and well-managed operation will experience instances of accidents. The bottom line here is that – you shouldn’t feel bad about filing a claim for the coverage you deserve.
But, it does happen. You may feel that an employer isn’t returning your phone calls or refuses to allow you to work, even though you’ve been cleared to do so. In some situations, you may feel as though your employer has replaced you, or is taking action to make your job more difficult. Your fellow employees don’t trust you. Perhaps you have evidence that your employer is purposefully taking steps to encourage you to leave your job.
Do you believe it’s the result of your workers’ compensation claim. What do you do?
Understand Your Rights
If you’ve taken the right steps to file a workers’ compensation claim, and you’ve been abused in any way, do not wait to contact an attorney. There is no reason not to do so. Paul Giannetti, Attorney At Law, is available to provide you with a free consultation to discuss your rights.
There are several rights you have as an employee:
- You have the right to maintain your job. That is, an employer may not discharge your employment as a result of your workers’ compensation claim.
- Employers may not, in any way, discriminate against you as a result of filing a claim (or, even more clearly, in attempting to file a claim).
Keep in mind, though, that an employer does have the right to terminate the employment of an individual who has been found to have filed a fraudulent claim for compensation, or attempted to do so. If you’ve made any claims that were false, this can impact your ability to maintain, get, and keep a job.
For most people, that’s not the case.
What About At-Will Employment?
In the United States, most employees are hired as “at-will” employees. That means that an employer has the right to terminate the employment of any individual at any time without being required to provide a reason for that dismissal. Employers are able to terminate employment for any reason in at-will situations. However, there are exceptions to this. Even in situations of at-will employment, an employer is not allowed to terminate employment as a direct result of filing for or obtaining compensation from a workers’ compensation claim. An employer cannot retaliate because you’ve requested financial support from the losses you’ve sustained on the job.
What Should You Do If Your Rights Have Been Violated?
It can be very difficult to prove that you’ve lost your job due to discriminatory factors for filing an injury claim. However, it does happen. It’s important to take a closer look at your options.
- Gather any evidence of your belief of being discriminated against. This includes any proof that your employer is discriminating against you.
- Gather contact information for anyone that may be able to verify your claim.
- Document your injury as well as any steps the employer has taken throughout the claims process to avoid paying you.
Then, meet with an attorney. It is essential that you take the steps necessary to do this soon. Workers’ compensation claims have a limited timeframe for filings. You do not want to miss this deadline.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Attorney
Paul Giannetti, an Albany, New York workers’ compensation attorney, is available to discuss your workers’ compensation claim and discriminatory action concerns. He has years of experience working with individuals facing the same challenges. Call him at (866) 868-2960, or reach out online and schedule a free consultation. There’s no need to delay in getting the help you need.