Can Your Employer Retaliate Against You For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
As a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney, Jason Kobal often hears clients complain that they fear retaliation from their employer if they pursue a claim for compensation. In fact, many workers who get injured on the job refuse to seek medical attention to avoid potential punishment from their employer.
But can your employer retaliate against you for filing a workers’ comp claim and pursuing the benefits to which you are entitled? The short answer is, “No, it is illegal for employers to fire, demote, or otherwise punish their employees for exercising their legal rights, including filing a claim for compensation.”
If you were punished by your employer for pursuing benefits after a workplace accident, or you fear that your employer might retaliate against you for making a claim, speak with an attorney. Our skilled attorney at Kobal Law can protect your rights and ensure that your employer is held accountable if they violate your rights.
Can You Get Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida?
No, Florida law prohibits employers from firing or taking adverse employment action against employees who exercise their legal rights, such as pursuing compensation benefits. In other words, if you file a workers’ comp claim or intend to file a claim after suffering an on-the-job injury, your employer cannot fire you or in any other way punish you for pursuing benefits.
Besides terminating employment, other forms of retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim include:
- Denying a promotion
- Denying benefits
- Lowering pay
- Switching to a less desirable job position
- Giving an unsatisfactory job reference
Florida law also protects employees against intimidation and coercion. It means that your employer cannot intimidate or pressure you not to report your injury or file a workers’ compensation claim.
How to Prove Retaliation When Pursuing Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you believe that you were punished for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you will need to demonstrate evidence to prove retaliation. Usually, workplace retaliation can be demonstrated with circumstantial evidence.
One of the most obvious types of evidence to prove retaliation in a workers’ compensation case is showing that a termination of employment or another adverse employment action occurred within a short period of time after the employee filed a claim.
You should expect your employer to fight back against your retaliation claims. Your employer may cite legitimate reasons for firing you or taking another adverse action against you, such as bad performance.
For this reason, it is advisable to seek the legal counsel of a skilled lawyer to help you prove that your employer punished you for making a workers’ comp claim. In order to prevail on your retaliation claim, you need to prove that your workers’ compensation claim was a “substantial factor” in the decision to take adverse action against you.
Contact our workers’ compensation lawyer Jason Kobal to discuss your options and determine whether you can pursue a retaliation lawsuit against your employer for punishing you for exercising your legal rights. Get a case review by calling 813-873-2440.