When a Florida employee suffers injuries in an accident in the workplace, he or she has the right to seek benefits and support through a claim filed with the employer’s comp insurance. The intent of workers’ compensation insurance is to provide a way for injured employees to secure support to cover medical bills and a portion of their lost wages. For many reasons, some employers may take action against employees who file a claim, even if they had the need and valid grounds to do so. Retaliation for a claim is unacceptable.
When employees file claims, the cost of an employer’s workers’ comp insurance policy may increase. Claims may also bring awareness to safety concerns in a workplace, ensuring that an employer has to spend the time, money and manpower to address them. Injured workers or those who become ill because of workplace exposure may feel pressured by an employer to downplay the severity of their injuries, lie about the nature of the accident or avoid filing a claim.
After filing an insurance claim, employees may experience retaliation from their employer. This can come in blatant forms, such as termination or demotion, or more subtle ways, such as being passed over for a deserved promotion. Seeking workers’ compensation when needed is a protected right, and workers who experience retaliation do not have to remain silent.
A Florida employee who experiences retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim has the right to take action against his or her employer. It may be appropriate to file a lawsuit over retaliation and negative treatment in the workplace. An assessment of the individual case will reveal what options for legal recourse are available.