Kentucky requires employers to provide injured workers with accommodations and possibly workers’ compensation depending on the nature of the injury. Unfortunately, many employers choose not to follow these laws and as they see their injured employees as dead weight.
Shortly after you file for workers’ compensation or request disability accommodations, your employers should make efforts to ensure you can continue working while still recovering from your injuries. While one of the most obvious signs of retaliation is firing you immediately after you make these requests, some bosses instead make the working conditions worse to the point where you want to quit the company. Here are some ways they can do so:
Getting a heavy workload
Employers are eager to run their companies like a well-oiled machine at the earliest opportunity. When they have an injured or disabled employee in their ranks, some struggle to adjust. They see these workers and the accommodations they have to provide for them as burdens. As a result, many of them make little to no efforts on making these work environments easier for these employees.
An example of this can be seen within a recent case in Texas. A Houston nursing assistant recently filed a lawsuit against her former employers for mistreating her and giving her a heavy workload even though she had doctor notes warning her to take it slow and easy. She repeatedly had to tell them that she was not ready to go past light duty work, but they didn’t listen. If employers of a medical position are incapable of listening to doctor warnings, then you know this behavior can happen anywhere.
Unfortunately, a workplace can become significantly more toxic for workers with severe injuries or disabilities. Some employers or co-workers may treat these employees differently for the accommodations they are supposed to receive at work and costing the company money if they qualify for workers’ compensation.
In the Texas case previously mentioned, the worker also experienced harassment from her co-workers for her early therapy session leaves and filing for workers’ compensation. Another employee appeared to shove her against a door, but the administrator chose not to involve himself after she filed a complaint.
Threats of firing
Even if an employer doesn’t fire you immediately after your injury, that doesn’t mean the thought hasn’t crossed their minds. Don’t be surprised if you start getting warnings about your performance issues in the following weeks after you file for workers’ compensation.
These warnings are dangerous for workers who are trying to physically and mentally recover from the incident. High maintenance companies such as Amazon get these complaints frequently. Recently, a warehouse worker on strike revealed how she told her employers she couldn’t bend her knees after exercise equipment fell on her legs, and they still issued a warning for her performance.
It is unacceptable for employers in Kentucky to make working conditions worse for employees recovering from a serious injury. Contact a local employment attorney if you or a loved one experience disability discrimination at your job to ensure you are properly compensated.