How Employers Retaliate Against Employees Who File Workers’ Comp Claims

Jeffrey S. Gross

Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws allow employees to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and certain other covered losses when they are injured in on-the-job accidents or develop illnesses or medical conditions as a result of exposure to hazards in the workplace. This no-fault system does not require workers to prove that their accidents resulted from negligence in order to recover benefits.

However, it’s worth noting that when employees file workers’ compensation claims, in some instances, this results in their employers’ insurance premiums going up. As such, some employers react improperly when injured or ill workers file claims.

The law forbids employers from retaliating against employees who seek workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, not all employers obey the law. Forms of retaliation someone might encounter after filing a workers’ comp claim include (but are not limited to) the following:

Termination
This is the most obvious and overt form retaliation can take when an employer is displeased that a worker filed a claim to collect the benefits to which they were legally entitled. Some employers will simply terminate the employment of workers who use the workers’ compensation system to cover their losses after work-related accidents.

Naturally, an employer firing an employee because they filed a workers’ compensation claim will not openly admit that this is the reason said worker’s employment was terminated. If you suspect you have been fired not for legitimate reasons, but because you filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, review your case with a workers’ compensation retaliation attorney to learn more about your legal options. Additionally, while an employer might not fire you, they might essentially force you to resign from your position, which is still against the law.

Demotion
An employer who does not fire an employee after they seek workers’ compensation benefits might nevertheless demote them. This does not merely affect the employee who is the direct target of an employer’s retaliatory actions. It also sends a message to other workers at the company: If you attempt to seek workers’ compensation benefits, there will be a price to pay.

Denying Promotions and Raises
Some forms of retaliation against employees who file claims to recover workers’ compensation benefits are subtler than those above. A strong employee who is deserving of a raise or promotion might be denied a promotion or raise if their employer is upset with them for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Proving that an employer is not allowing you to advance within the company as you should given your performance may be challenging if you attempt to do so on your own. This is another reason to coordinate with an attorney who handles cases like yours if you have reason to believe you have been retaliated against for seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

A lawyer can help you gather documentation (such as performance reviews, emails, etc.) indicating you are deserving of a raise or promotion which you have been denied. This will help you build a strong case against an employer who is unfairly and illegally mistreating you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Attorney Today
If you have been retaliated against after filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, or if you suspect you have been the victim of retaliation, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation retaliation attorney at Gross & Kenny today. We will review your case and let you know if you have grounds to take legal action. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 215-512-1500.

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