In theory, workers who get injured at work in Kentucky can count on workers’ compensation benefits. However, some people find that securing benefits is more of a challenge than they anticipated because of an employer’s reaction to an injury report. Other people may pursue a claim without major challenges but then may experience significant career setbacks, like the sudden loss of their job.
Reporting an injury on the job and making use of benefits like workers’ compensation coverage are protected workplace activities that should not affect an individual’s employment status. Unfortunately, some organizations retaliate against those who rightfully utilize the benefits provided for their protection. These are some of the ways that some companies try to hide their mistreatment of workers who get hurt on the job.
They engage in progressive discipline or write bad reviews
Sometimes, employers simply become more critical of a worker’s job performance after they report an injury or return to their job after a temporary leave of absence. Employees may find themselves written up for minor issues that never resulted in discipline before or that don’t lead to disciplinary actions against other employees.
They might also find themselves facing a series of negative performance reviews even though they continue to do their job the same as before. These steps by the company might just be an attempt to obfuscate the retaliatory firing that is to come.
They refuse to accommodate someone
Not every company will take the time to slowly build the case where they claim that a worker had performance issues or behavioral problems on the job. Instead, some employers will simply insist that they cannot accommodate the worker’s limitations and therefore can no longer employ them.
Rather than transferring someone to the front office or to a different department to minimize the worsening of their symptoms, the company might just try to let them go instead of allowing them to change job responsibilities or other reasonable accommodations, like assistive technology, that could help them continue working.
Workplace discrimination can cost somebody their job and also make it hard for them to bounce back after an injury. Employees who recognize the warning signs of workers’ compensation retaliation may have an easier time protecting their job and holding a company accountable for illegal practices with the assistance of an experienced legal professional. When all goes well, fighting back against workplace retaliation can compensate a worker and potentially change practices at the company that mistreated them.