Regardless of where you work or the job duties you perform, you have some risk of suffering an injury every time you clock in. You need a regular paycheck to pay for rent and other living expenses, though. Consequently, if you have a work-related injury, it may be tempting to try to hide your injury from your employer.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of suffering it. Nevertheless, according to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation, it is advisable to report your injury as soon as possible.
Retaliation is illegal
As an employee in the Sunshine State, you have a right to take advantage of the state’s workers’ compensation program to help you cope with the fallout from any injury you suffer on the job. Your employer cannot and should not take any adverse employment-associated action against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim or reporting your injury.
Some discipline may be ok
If you are engaging in reckless behavior or horseplay when you suffer your injury, your employer can probably punish you for it. Still, your employer’s discipline should not be because of your decision to exercise your rights or pursue workers’ compensation benefits. If you suspect your employer is retaliating against you, you should notify your workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Most Florida employees who suffer injuries are not behaving recklessly, of course. Ultimately, you should not let a fear of retribution discourage you from seeking the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.