What should I do if my employer is treating me differently after reporting an injury?

mistreatment after filing workers' comp claimUh oh. That's not good. As an employee in Ohio, you may file a claim for compensation with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) if injured on the job, or if you developed an illness due to unsafe conditions in the workplace.

It doesn't matter if you lost focus for a minute on the Honda assembly line and your leg got crushed, or if your employer failed to make sure ice was cleared from the UPS loading dock and you fell and hit your head.

Either way, your medical treatment and lost wages should be covered by workers’ comp.

Ohio workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system designed to take blame out of the equation. Your employer can’t blame you, and you can’t sue your employer.

Then Why Are You Being Treating Differently at Work?

Unfortunately, despite the no-fault nature of workers’ comp, we often hear from employees who feel they're treated poorly after reporting an injury or filing a claim. If this treatment reaches the level of retaliation, legal action may be taken against the employer.

Usually, tactics are more subtle, such as:

  • Asking you not to file a claim. If an employer isn't in compliance with Ohio workers’ comp law, he won't want you to file so he doesn’t get caught. If he has a lot of claims and fears his premiums will go up, he may also try to keep you from filing. Either way, you may file a claim with the BWC and shouldn't be dissuaded.
  • Disparaging remarks from co-workers. Sadly, workers who file claims are sometimes made to feel like liars and criminals, often by co-workers. This treatment creates a hostile workplace, and supervisors and managers should stop it.
  • Withholding information. You may be excluded from meetings, left off email distribution lists, and kept out of the loop purposely when you're out recovering from a workplace injury. If these actions impede your employment, you may take legal action to stop it.
  • Generally making your life harder. Increased supervision, cold shoulders, and a challenging environment can make your job a miserable place to be. This shouldn't happen just because you were injured.

When my clients have these experiences, I want to hear about them. While your employer may not be breaking the law, it's inappropriate to continue treating you this way.

When poor treatment escalates to the point that your employer is breaking an agreement, you may take legal action. Examples of this include:

  • Not honoring restrictions. If you return to work with certain restrictions ordered by a doctor, they must be upheld by your employer.
  • Not accommodating your schedule. Shorter workdays, medical appointments, follow-up treatment, and other accommodations must be allowed if required for your return to work.

Monast Law Office Is Here for You

No one hopes to be injured on the job so they can collect workers’ comp and take time off—that’s just not how it works. To be mistreated because of something out of your control is a terrible thing to face. Regardless of whether you're a client or not, please contact us if you're experiencing unfair treatment at work, and we'll discuss your options.

 

 

James Monast
Connect with me
Fighting for Ohio’s Injured Workers and their Families