Workers often face inappropriate retaliation if they assert their rights. For example, an injured worker who files a claim for workers’ compensation benefits could find that their employer fires them during their leave of absence.
Even those who return to their job after recovering may find that their employer no longer has a positive attitude about them. While the worker may continue to do their best at their job, the company could start to give them negative performance reviews despite no real change in their performance.
If that has happened to you in the wake of a workers’ compensation claim, that behavior might actually be employer retaliation.
Your injury’s effect on your performance should not impact the review
When you get hurt on the job, you have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits for your medical treatment and if you need a leave of absence. You also typically have the right to request accommodations from the company so that you can get back to work.
Although your performance may not be 100%, at least right away, the company should not penalize you for the impact of your injury on your job performance or your need to file a benefits claim.
If your boss suddenly becomes far more critical of your job perforation after your benefits claim, the real reason could be retaliation. Poor performance reviews against a worker recovering from an on-the-job injury might be a way to create a reasonable excuse for firing them in the future. Recognizing the warning signs of employer retaliation can help you prepare to protect yourself.