When you are hurt at work, this isn't always the easiest thing to confess to your boss. Maybe you were injured because you were messing around and doing something you weren't supposed to be doing. Maybe your coworker did something wrong, causing your injury, and you don't want to get him or her in trouble. Maybe the injury wasn't really anyone's fault, but you're still worried about how your employer will handle it.
Can your employer discipline, or even fire, you for filing a workers' compensation claim?
Workers' compensation laws in Illinois and every other state protect workers from retaliation. However, many people here in Illinois are still too intimidated to report injuries or file claims.
Workers' compensation is your right. You do not have to fear retaliation for exercising your legal rights.
The law provides great benefits to employees as well as employers. Employees have the right to obtain workers' compensation benefits for their medical care and lost wages no matter the cause of their work-related injuries. They are also protected from retaliation. Employers benefit because the law, in most cases, prevents injured employees from suing them. Employers pay far less in workers' compensation insurance premiums than they could have to pay out as a result of personal injury lawsuits.
What Is Retaliation?
Retaliation is any adverse or negative action as the result of your workers' compensation claim or report of unsafe working conditions. This could be firing someone or just passing them up for a promotion. It can also be discrimination or harassment, such as giving you a bad reassignment or an unnecessary transfer, or limiting your hours, as a form of punishment.
If you fear retaliation from your employer and are considering not filing a workers' compensation claim, or if you already filed your claim and are being harassed as a result, an experienced attorney can help you.
At Seidman Margulis & Fairman, LLP, we offer free initial legal consultations and we would be happy to answer your questions. Call our firm today at 312-445-9034 or toll free at 888-837-3275 to discuss your options.