Employer Retaliation For Employees On Temporary Disability
Every employee in the United States has the right to be in a workplace that is free of hostility and mistreatment. This right extends to times when an employee gets injured while on the job and decides to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, many employers and companies who are otherwise supportive and abide by the law may be motivated to retaliate against a worker who costs them money. When a claim is filed under workers’ compensation benefits, the company may have an increase in insurance rates, especially during periods where several injury reports are filed or one incident is particularly costly.
If you are an employee who was recently put on temporary disability and believes retaliation is happening to you, it is advised that you meet with a workers’ compensation lawyer, for protection and guidance.
What does retaliatory harassment look like?
If you have sustained a serious injury at work recently and were put on temporary disability, there may have been some questionable behavior by your employer. Retaliatory harassment can take on many forms and may entail behavior such as pressuring you to come back to work early or stepping down from your position. Your employer may try to downplay the injury you sustained and suggest that perhaps you were the cause of the accident. An employer who is trying to influence an employee to go against doctor’s orders to making them feel responsible for their injuries is considered retaliatory harassment.
It is important for injured workers to know that this isn’t normal and you should not have to endure such treatment during your recovery. If this sounds like something you are going through, obtaining an attorney would be in your best interest.
When does retaliation turn into discrimination?
An employer who treats an employee adversely due to a workplace injury is likely committing retaliation. This behavior can quickly turn into discrimination. An employer may use a variety of methods or approaches to convince you to make decisions that benefit the company instead of your health. You may find that these conversations turn into being the subject of ridicule, name-calling, or offensive jokes. Your employer may even take away work assignments that you have been deemed able to perform while being on “light duty” recovery.
At one point or another while on temporary disability, your employer may cross the line into behavior that is actionable by law. It is imperative that swift and immediate legal intervention is used in order to stop the unlawful treatment. If an employee doesn’t take steps towards protecting themselves during this time, the situation may only get worse.
What should I do next if I think my boss’ behavior is illegal?
Start taking notes and gathering proof that you are being mistreated. For example, record phone conversations with your boss to capture inappropriate comments, write down whenever a coworker calls you a name, when you have been taken off a project, or any other instances where you are treated adversely. Get help from a lawyer who is familiar with workers’ compensation programs, employer retaliation, and temporary disability.