Being injured at work is difficult enough without having to deal with retaliation from your employer. However, not every employer is supportive of an employee’s decision to file a workers’ compensation claim. Although there are many ways that your employer can fight back, there are also options available to you. Here’s what to do if your employer fights your workers’ comp claim.
1. Your Employer Advises You Not to File a Claim
In some cases, an employer will advise an employee soon after the accident not to file a workers’ compensation claim. The employer may be persuasive, and make the employee feel like it is the best decision for his or her employment not to file a claim. Additionally, the employer may use threats or intimidation to make the employee feel afraid of filing a claim.
What to do: File a claim anyways. Consult an attorney about how to properly fill out an accident report and file a workers’ compensation claim, and inform your attorney about your employer’s coercive tactics.
2. Your Employer Outright Disputes Your Claim
Often, an employer will directly dispute an accident claim in an attempt to prevent an employee from filing for workers’ compensation. The employer may say that the accident never occurred, or they may try to allege that you were at fault for the accident somehow. Many employers will accuse an employee of drug or alcohol use at the time of the accident in order to have the claim thrown out as quickly as possible.
What to do: You may be able to contact your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company and discuss the denial of your claim. However, without the right support, you may not get very far when dealing with high powered businesses or large insurance companies. By working with a skilled California workers’ comp lawyer, you can assert your right to workers’ comp and fight a denial.
3. Your Employer Retaliates Against You
If you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim and have returned to work after taking time to heal from your injuries, your employer may treat you differently. Filing an accident report or a workers’ comp claim is an action that is protected by law, and your employer legally cannot retaliate against you for doing so. If your employer demotes you, disciplines you, reduces your salary, harasses you, or otherwise discriminates against you for filing a claim, you have legal options.
What to do: Speak with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible, and gather all information that may prove that your employer was indeed retaliating against you. In many cases, proving retaliation is difficult, so collect as many records and/or documents as possible.
If your employer is fighting you on workers’ compensation, it’s critical that you contact an attorney at the earliest possible moment. At the Law Office of Michael J. Holmes, we can provide you with seasoned legal representation at every stage of your case. Call us today for a consultation at (714) 667-6844.