Historically, workplace accidents were a “very touchy” subject
for workers. They’d work in dangerous environments with careless
co-workers or hazardous equipment, either of which could result in serious
injuries. Sometimes, even their employers would fail to properly train
them, or they wouldn’t “spring” for the proper safety
equipment. It’s no wonder why the workplace can be an “accident
waiting to happen” as the old saying goes.
workers’ compensation laws were enacted, an injured worker would have little recourse. Often,
they wouldn’t receive any compensation for their injuries and they
would have to bear the full expense of their medical bills. It was a tragic
state of affairs for American workers, especially in the agriculture,
fishing, logging, and manufacturing sectors.
Fear of Employer Retaliation
Fortunately, lawmakers grew wise to the discrepancy and realized that the
existing laws protected wealthy employers and not America’s workforce.
workers’ compensation laws were enacted, at last workers gained the workplace protections they needed
and deserved. Even though these laws have been in place for many years,
millions of injured workers fail to file workers’ compensation claims
out of fear of employer retaliation. Meaning, they fear they’ll
lose their jobs if they file a claim.
If you’re hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim because
you’re afraid you’ll lose your job, we want you to know that
it’s against the law for your employer to fire you because you file
a workers’ compensation claim.
According to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, “An
employer man not fire or otherwise discriminate against an employee or
applicant who has claimed or attempted to claim workers’ compensation.”
So, if your employer tries to fire you for filing a claim, he or she is
subject to a maximum penalty of $500 under the law.
Suppose you are fired after filing a workers’ comp claim. If the
Board finds that you were in fact “improperly discharged,”
your employer will be ordered to restore your previous position and pay
you for any loss of compensation that resulted from the discrimination.
To learn more about the law,
click here to read the Board’s page on discrimination.
Contact Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman to schedule a free consultation with a Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer!