Suffering injuries at work can leave employees trying to navigate the uncharted waters of facing life without having a job to go to every day. Even if your time off work due to injury is going to be temporary, you may have lots of questions about how things are going to work while you’re off and once you go back. Many New Jersey employees worry about the potential of retaliation from their employers once they have filed workers’ compensation claims.
Can my employer retaliate if I file a comp claim?
In most states, it is illegal for an employer to fire or to otherwise retaliate against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim. However, the fact that retaliation is illegal does not mean that employers don’t try to punish an injured employee in an effort to save money. If your employer retaliates against you, you do have legal grounds for a lawsuit against them.
How do I prove I was retaliated against?
Since most states are “at-will” employment states, proving that you were retaliated against can be difficult. In order to prove that your employer punished you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you generally have to prove all four of the following allegations:
- That you were eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits
- That you filed a workers’ compensation claim stemming from a workplace injury
- That you suffered an adverse action to your employment
- That your employer was motivated by your comp claim
What is considered retaliation?
Furthermore, you will need to understand what is considered retaliation by your employer. The following actions are considered retaliation by an employer:
- Change in position or responsibilities
- Unmerited disciplinary actions
- Reduction in pay
If you believe that you are the victim of retaliation from your employer, you should employ the services of an attorney. This attorney can review your initial injury claim, your accusations of retaliation, and the actions of your employer after your injury.