Palm Beach Gardens Workers Compensation Attorney
Retaliation and Workers Compensation
A workers compensation attorney understands that one of the biggest fears of an injured worker is that if they pursue a claim against their employer, they will end up losing their job. Even though every Palm Beach Gardens employer is required to have workers compensation insurance to cover all injuries, there are employers who get more upset about a filed claim than they do about an employee’s injuries. This is because they know their insurance premium will likely increase because of the claim.
If you believe you have been a victim of employer retaliation for a work injury claim you have filed, contact the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt to find out how we can help. Our workers compensation attorneys in Palm Beach Gardens have more than 80 years of combined experienced protecting the rights of injured employees. We are well-versed in the tactics that some employers use to intimidate workers from filing claims.
Types of Retaliation
The worst type of retaliation an employer can use against an injured worker is to fire them. Under the workers compensation laws in Florida, this type of retaliation is illegal. An employer cannot fire or threaten to fire an injured worker who has filed a workers compensation claim. There are however, several other ways an employer can try to retaliate against an injured worker in Palm Beach Gardens. These include:
- Change to an undesirable or impossible work schedule (i.e. third shift)
- Denying promotion
- Poor and inaccurate job performance reviews
- Reduction of hours
- Unwarranted disciplinary action
Although employers are allowed to take actions against an employee if the those actions are justified, if an employer retaliates against an injured worker, that worker has the right to sue them if they can prove that the punitive actions of the employer were due to the employee’s injury case.
In order to prove retaliation, your workers compensation attorney will need to prove that:
- The retaliation took place after the employer learned of the work injury and after filing of the workers compensation claim.
- There are no legitimate reasons for the employer’s action against you.
When a lawsuit is filed in Palm Beach Gardens, the requested compensation will depend on the extent of the retaliation taken against you. Your workers compensation attorney in Palm Beach Gardens can explain the different options you have, but typically, any requested award should cover the wages you lost because of your employer’s actions against you. In some cases, your attorney may even pursue punitive damages. It is important to remember that a retaliation lawsuit is completely separate from your actual workers compensation case.
Do You Qualify For Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system designed to hold employers responsible for injuries employees suffer from while working. This is designed to protect employees from dangerous working environments or unsafe work practices. If an employee is injured, a workers’ comp case can compensate him or her for:
- Medical bills
- Permanent disabilities
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Injury related expenses
For you, this may raise the question of who is eligible for workers’ comp. Each state handles this system a little different, so it is always best to research the laws for your home state. It is also a good idea to speak with a Palm Beach Gardens workers’ compensation attorney. However, this guide will go over the basics of eligibility for workers’ comp.
Who Can Receive Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation is reserved for employees. The biggest requirement for workers’ comp is payment of some kind. This means that unpaid volunteers typically cannot file a workers’ comp case, even if they were injured while working for someone else. If you do receive monetary compensation for your time, then you almost certainly can qualify for workers’ comp. Of course, not all injury circumstances are covered. As an exception to this rule, interns and students may also qualify, as they receive experience or knowledge as compensation, rather than money.
What Situations Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
To qualify for workers’ comp, an injury must happen during work-related activities and be a direct result of these work-related activities. This means injuries sustained during breaks or after clocking out may not qualify. The injury does not need to happen as a result of an inherently dangerous situation. However, most cases are disqualified if the injury happened because safety procedures or policies were violated. Additionally, workers injured while under the influence of mind-altering substances, such as alcohol, are typically not covered. These are the most common exceptions that apply nearly anywhere, but to learn what all the exceptions may be, you must look into the workers’ comp rules for your particular state.
If you find that your injury is not covered by workers’ comp, all hope is not lost. Anytime you are injured as a result of someone else’s actions, regardless of whether you are on the job or not, or whether you are an employee or volunteer, you have the right to hold the responsible party accountable. If you do not qualify for workers’ comp, you may want to pursue filing a lawsuit to receive the compensation you are owed. In either case, speaking with a Palm Beach Gardens workers’ compensation attorney should be your first step.
Let a Workers Compensation Attorney Protect Your Rights
If you are experiencing harassment or retaliation from your employer because you filed a work injury claim, you need someone to protect your legal rights. Remember, your employer is breaking the law by doing this, and a lawsuit might be the only way to stop them.
You do not have to go through this alone. Contact the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt to find out how we may be able to help. Call today to set up free consultation with a Palm Beach Gardens workers compensation attorney.