Workers Compensation Lawyer
Ideally, the process of filing and receiving workers’ compensation should be handled professionally by both parties at every junction. However, this isn’t always the case, and an employer or even fellow workers can act unprofessionally either during the claim or after a worker receives a settlement or court award. In fact, sometimes workers are hesitant to file workers’ compensation simply due to fearing retaliation. We’ll explore some ways retaliation can occur:
- Firing the Worker
Firing a worker is forbidden due to a workers’ compensation claim. However, this doesn’t mean that employers don’t find ways around this rule. For example, a workplace may carefully set up the process for eventually firing a worker by giving them unwarranted negative performance reviews. They may also task them with nearly impossible-to-handle tasks. When a worker fails to handle these impossible tasks, the employer can then have a “valid” reason to fire them.
- Punishing the Worker While On the Job
Instead of outwardly firing a worker, a workplace may instead punish a worker in the hopes that they eventually quit. Some examples are:
- Docking a worker’s pay or demoting them: Not every workplace can dock a worker’s pay or demote them—at least not without going through a rigorous process. Other jobs, however, have the greater freedom to. Docked pay or demoting a worker to a lower position can quickly prompt them to quit.
- Transferring a worker to an undesirable shift: Some jobs feature shifts throughout the day and overnight. Depending upon your own personal preferences and personal life, daytime, evening, or overnight may make the most sense for you. Your employer probably knows what shift you prefer and may assign you to a different one. For example, if you work overnights to be with your kids, they may assign you the dayshift, forcing you to rearrange your personal life dramatically.
- Denying a promotion or raise: Jobs handle promotions and raises much differently. An employer may try to deny you a promotion or raise even if it’s clear that you deserve one.
- Direct or Indirect Threats
An employer, a supervisor, another worker, etc., may make threats in an attempt to prevent you from going through with your claim. These can sometimes be direct or indirect. Threats can include threatening to lower your pay or simply making the workplace harder.
- Creating a Hostile Work Environment
You would think your fellow employees would have your back, especially since they understand first-hand how dangerous the workplace can be. However, this isn’t always the case; your fellow employees can become hostile. Even a simple action like nobody sitting with you during lunch or talking with you can create a bad working environment. However, sometimes it can worsen, including employees gossiping or making rude remarks to or behind your back. An employer or supervisor may even be threatening other employees behind the scenes or promising raises or promotions if they act a certain way towards you.
When you hire a workers compensation lawyer, they can also guide you in dealing with retaliation. Even if you’re worried about retaliation, you should still seek compensation—a reality our friends at Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, LLP can agree with.