According to a survey conducted late last year, nearly one in every ten workers decides not to report a workplace injury out of fear of retaliation in their workplace. This means that about nine percent of all Americans are afraid to report when they fall ill or are injured on the job because they are afraid that they will be harassed, fired, or will lose a promotion as a result. About one-third of all workers who have been too timid to report an injury have suffered multiple injuries or illnesses at their workplace.
What is even more concerning is that the survey shows most of the injuries that aren't reported are very serious. The most common injuries that workers don't report are slip and falls, burns, workplace violence, and
repetitive motion injuries, as well as injuries from being caught in machinery. Employers are obligated to protect their employees from hazards according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but they don't always do so.
Employees should not fear retaliation from their employers. In fact, those that are nervous to report their injuries should remember that employees cannot lawfully fire them in retaliation for reporting a workplace injury. Workers who file workers' compensation claims are protected by federal and state laws from being fired, harassed, and discriminated against by their employers. There are also protections in place for employees who report safety or health complaints under the OSHA.
There are also protections for any workers who want to report a safety or health complaint to their employer or if they want to report an unsafe work condition that could lead to injury. If you are nervous about reporting an injury, call our office today. A New York workers' compensation attorney at Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund may be able to assist you in your case and help you to work through your case!