Employers enjoy a significant amount of protection from workers’ compensation insurance, in addition to the protections that it offers to employees. In most cases, employees receive benefits from their workers’ compensation claim, but they may not pursue another lawsuit against the employer, shielding the employer from a much larger potential loss.
Despite the crucial protection that workers’ compensation provides to employers, many still object to employees filing claims after a work-related injury. In some cases, an employer may even harass or fire an employee who exercises his or her right to file a claim. If you experience this kind of unfair treatment, or face other difficulties from your employer when it comes to your claim, you may need to use some legal tools to enforce your rights and keep your interests protected.
You have the right to proper treatment
If your employer discourages you from pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, this is probably to save the company money. Your employer may try to minimize expenses in other ways as well, such as discouraging your from seeking full treatment or pressuring you to choose the cheapest medical options available.
You should not allow your employer to make medical decisions on your behalf. You have an important responsibility to make sure that you receive the care that you deserve. You should not simply accept it and move on if your employer refuses to provide you with proper care.
This may include choice of physician or choice of hospital when receiving care. Even if your first choice of care is not within the insurer’s list of preferred providers, it is often possible to negotiate with the insurer to get treatment from your preferred doctor.
If your employer fires you for filing a claim
An employer generally may not fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you believe that your termination was at least partially because of your workers’ compensation claim, you may file a lawsuit to right this injustice. What’s more, courts do not usually require that you prove that your termination was entirely based on the claim, if your employer had more than one reason to consider letting you go.
You should never take a retaliatory firing sitting down. A carefully constructed legal claim can help you pursue a fair resolution to your workplace injury and seek fair compensation for the unfair treatment you received from your employer. This helps to create a safer, more inclusive workplace for all people.