After an on-the-job injury in Florida, it is both your right and your responsibility to report the injury and seek compensation for resultant damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, etc. However, multiple workers' compensation claims within your company cost your employer more money in insurance premiums, and we at Kaylor, Kaylor & Leto have seen employers attempt to punish or intimidate employees who have filed compensation claims. In addition to causing you additional stress while trying to recover from your injury, this behavior, known as employer retaliation, is illegal.
The telltale sign of employer retaliation is a significant change in the way your employer treats you after filing your workers' compensation claim. However, employer retaliation may be so subtle that you do not recognize it right away. Your employer may take retaliatory actions that hurt you financially, such as transferring you to a lower-paying job, cutting your hours or outright firing you. Conversely, your employer may retaliate by assigning you duties that exceed the activity level approved by your doctor or by ordering you back to work too soon to allow you sufficient time to recover. Your employer may also engage in spiteful behavior intended to make your working hours unpleasant, such as subjecting you to harsher criticism and increased scrutiny, spreading rumors about you or evaluating your performance more negatively than before for no other discernible reason.
Remember, you only have a limited timeframe in which to report work-related injuries and file a compensation claim. If you delay in doing so for fear of retaliation and miss the deadline, you may lose your access to the benefits you deserve. More information regarding employer retaliation is available on our website.