WORKERS COMP RETALIATION
It’s bad enough suffering an injury on the job that’s so serious you need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Just imagine how disturbing it would be to file the claim, then suffer retaliation from your employer because you filed the claim.
“Retaliation occurs when you get punished by your employer because you exercised your legal rights or because you engaged in a lawful activity…Retaliation can be obvious, but it can also be so unclear that you do not notice it until long after it occurred.”
According to the Patient Advocate Pharmacy, which advocates for the rights of injured workers:
“Retaliation occurs when an employer penalizes an employee, or employees, for engaging in a protected activity. In workers’ compensation, that means an employer punishes an employee for filing a workers’ comp claim, or in some cases even attempting to file a claim.”
So why don’t some employers want their workers to file a workers’ compensation claim? Well, it can be a costly process.
“Workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses cost the country billions of dollars every year. In its 2018 Workplace Safety Index, Liberty Mutual estimated that employers paid more than $1 billion per week for direct workers' compensation costs for disabling, non-fatal workplace injuries in 2015. The National Safety Council estimated that work-related deaths and injuries cost the nation, employers, and individuals $151 billion in 2016.”
As the old saying goes, “Just follow the money.” And in the case of retaliation against those who file workers’ compensation claims, it’s a fairly straight line from point A to point B.
Anyone who suffers retaliation from an employer needs a seasoned, experienced attorney whose primary objectives are holding those at fault accountable and securing the fullest amount of damages allowed by law. Call the law office of Phillips & Millman at 845-947-1100 to learn more about your rights under state law and how to proceed with a sound legal strategy.
Nobody should suffer retaliation simply because they are following state law as it pertains to workplace injuries.
So what is workers compensation?
“Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to workers who have been injured or made ill as a result of their employment. Most, but not all, employers must have a workers’ comp insurance system in place for their employees.
“Workers’ comp kicks in when an employee suffers an illness or injury at work or while performing their duties. Its purpose is to pay benefits that help with an injured employee’s medical treatment, missed wages, and rehabilitation. If an injury results in a long-term or permanent disability, then a worker may be entitled to disability benefits, as well.
“The system is designed to provide protection for both injured employees and their employers. As an employee, you can file a claim after suffering an injury. In return, however, you usually can’t sue your employer for negligence, although there may be exceptions on some state-based workers’ comp claims.”
According to dol.gov:
“The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs, which provide to federal workers (or their dependents) and other specific groups who are injured at work or acquire an occupational disease:
- Wage replacement benefits
- Medical treatment
- Vocational rehabilitation
“You should be aware that each state has its own regulations in place, as well,” reads iwpharmacy.com. “That’s why it’s imperative to learn about the workers’ comp system in your state before submitting a claim. In fact, it’s not a given that your employer has to offer workers’ compensation benefits.
“In Texas, that’s true for private employers. If you live in Illinois, you should know that the state doesn’t require coverage for farmers, commissions-based salespeople, or real estate brokers. Go to New York, though, and coverage is a requirement for anyone who works for a for-profit business, as well as many non-profit companies.”
Most importantly, educate yourself on the many ins-and-outs of the workers compensation process and get yourself an experienced attorney who can advocate on your behalf.