Workers’ Comp Retaliation

After sustaining an injury on the job, many workers may worry about backlash or retaliation from their employer for filing a workers’ compensation claim. While an employee is recovering from an on-the job injury, whether at home or in a light-duty position, some employers can become irritated with having to accommodate work restrictions and pay benefits. If you believe you have been a victim of workers’ compensation retaliation, you have legal options and should speak to a Las Vegas workers’ compensation lawyer to learn how to proceed.

Types of Workers’ Comp Retaliation

In Nevada, it is illegal for employers to discipline or terminate injured employees who report on-the-job injuries and qualify for workers’ comp benefits. The following examples constitute unlawful retaliation by an employer:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Placing the employee on probation or suspension
  • Demotion or transfer to a position with less desirable duties
  • Increased supervision and decreased freedom
  • Reducing pay or hours
  • Denying a promotion or increases in pay
  • Unjustifiably poor evaluation or review
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Denying benefits
  • Telling the employee they cannot go to a doctor or hospital
  • Intimidation
  • Refusing to or failing to provide a First Report of Injury Form

Any form of retaliation is against the law, and can lead to serious financial and emotional distress for an injured worker.

How to Prove a Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claim

Proving retaliation will typically require the help of a skilled workplace accident lawyer with experience handling retaliation claims. It is rare that an employer will outwardly say that they are terminating an employee or taking other adverse actions as a result of a workers’ compensation claim being filed. With that being said, the burden will fall on you to prove several elements, including that:

  • You were/are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under the law. This involves showing that you were or are a statutory employee and your employer either has workers’ compensation insurance coverage or is self-insured.
  • You engaged in a legally protected activity. Most often, this means filing the forms for a workers’ compensation claim. Some states will allow a more broadly defined legally protected activity, such as reporting an injury to your employer and the intention to file a claim, or simply the fact that you suffered an injury while on the job.
  • Your employer took adverse action against you. (e.g. termination or retaliation (decreased pay, change in hours, etc.)
  • Causation. Meaning, the adverse action taken against you was a direct result of your legally protected activity (e.g. filing for workers’ comp benefits, reporting an injury, etc.). This is often the most difficult element to prove. An example of evidence proving causation, would be if you consistently had great performance reviews up until the injury, then only received negative evaluations after filing a workers’ comp claim. Employers will likely defend themselves by presenting evidence to validate their actions.

If you can successfully prove your employer retaliated against you, a workers’ comp retaliation lawsuit can compensate you for any resulting losses. Including lost wages and benefits, and possibly punitive damages if they acted maliciously.

What is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

As long as your injury or illness was work-related or occurred while performing work duties, workers’ compensation benefits should cover any medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, vocational rehabilitation (if necessary), and/or continued benefits for any permanent damage related to your injury. Although injured workers should have no problem filing for and collecting benefits, that is often not the case.

Contact Us Today

An experienced attorney from Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers can help you fight for the benefits you deserve in Las Vegas, Nevada. Call Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers at (702) 384-1414 to or message us online schedule a free consultation today.

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