Here’s why workplace retaliation may not always be obvious and what you can do if you face it after filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Missouri workers’ compensation protects injured workers and stipulates that if workers get injured or sick on the job, they are generally entitled to certain benefits designed to help them get through this unfortunate event.
The benefits can include medical expenses, therapy, time off work, disability benefits, and others, depending on the case.
In Missouri, it is illegal to retaliate against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim. However, this doesn’t mean it cannot happen.
What is Workplace Retaliation?
Generally, workplace retaliation refers to a form of punishment you might receive simply because you filed a worker’s comp claim.
Your employer carries worker’s compensation insurance, and any worker who gets injured is generally entitled to receive these benefits from the insurance company. However, the more worker’s comp claims filed, the higher the premiums your employer will have to pay, which could make them actively seek to discourage employees from filing such claims.
Workplace retaliation can come in different forms, and it’s crucial to pay attention to the signs, as they are not always obvious:
- A change in attitude, such as your employer starting to criticize you for seemingly no reason
- Blacklisting you and offering tasks that would have normally gone to you to other employees, even less experienced ones
- Trying to convince you into withdrawing your claim, such as by arguing that the injury is your fault
- Demoting you
- Creating an unfavorable environment for you to the point that even coworkers treat you differently
- Firing you because you’ve filed the claim
What to Do if You Are Experiencing Workplace Retaliation
If you suspect your employer is punishing you for filing a worker’s comp claim, discuss your case with an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorney.
Missouri has an ‘at will’ firing system, meaning your employer can fire you without necessarily having a reason for it (such as proving your job performance is lacking). Still, they cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
So even if they argue your job termination is not connected to your claim, you might be able to prove it is with the help of an experienced lawyer.
An experienced worker’s comp attorney can also help make sure you receive all the benefits you’re legally entitled to and help you fight back against any unfair punishments from your employer.
Speak With a Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney
Have you been injured on the job? Pay close attention to how your employer starts treating you, and reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected after a work injury.
Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney
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