When employees decide to file workers' compensation claims, they are automatically protected by the law. Employers cannot retaliate against them because of the claims. Doing so infringes on the employees' rights, and it can create an atmosphere in which workers are nervous to file even valid claims.
Retaliation could include things like:
- Firing a worker outright
- Cutting a worker's hours
- Reducing a worker's pay
- Giving a worker a less desirable position
- Not allowing a worker access to benefits
In short, employees must get fair treatment, before and after a claim.
One thing that is important to note is that retaliation cases do not depend on the quality of the workers' compensation claim. The claim can be valid, invalid, bogus or frivolous. It can get approved or denied. No matter what, the employee cannot be discriminated against.
So, even if an employee files a claim that gets denied because it turns out that the worker got injured at home, not at work, that worker still deserves fair treatment. If the worker is retaliated against in any way -- such as being fired -- due to the fact that he or she filed the claim, that could open the door for legal action.
It is very important for employees to know all of their legal rights regarding compensation claims. Employees often feel like their employers have all of the power and can do as they please, but this is not always the case. When employees are legally protected, they must understand the options they have if their rights get violated by the company.