Getting injured on the job can be a traumatic experience for anyone. The worries that follow such an injury can seem overwhelming, especially as one considers the potential loss in wages and the cost of medical treatment.
Fortunately, the implementation of workers’ compensation laws in most states has given employees an avenue for obtaining financial compensation for their injuries. But does filing a claim affect future employment in any way?
Workers’ Comp Should NOT Affect Future Employment
Workers’ compensation claims often raise concerns among employees about potential retaliation from current employers, or they may be concerned about future employment opportunities as well. Despite these fears, legal protections are designed to shield employees in such instances.
It’s important to recognize that acts of discrimination against individuals who have filed for workers’ compensation benefits is against the law. Similarly, anti-retaliation statutes serve as a deterrence against any negative actions taken by employers towards claimants; this includes punitive measures like unjust dismissal or unwarranted demotions. It could also include more subtle punitive measures, like a decrease in available work hours or a change in location to a less desirable workplace.
Impact on Job Applications and Interviews
While workers’ compensation claims are part of your employment history, they should not be a primary concern for future employers. During job interviews, focus on your skills and qualifications. If asked about past injuries or claims, you can briefly explain the situation without delving into details, emphasizing your recovery and readiness to work.
To minimize potential impacts on future employment, handle your workers’ compensation claim professionally. Maintain open communication with your employer, keep detailed records of your injury and claim, and consider seeking legal advice to navigate the process effectively. These steps can help preserve a positive relationship with your current employer and strengthen your case for future opportunities.
What To Do If You’re Facing Retaliation After a Workers’ Comp Claim
Dealing with retaliation in the workplace following a workers’ compensation claim can be a challenging and distressing experience. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to protect your rights.
One of the most important things you can do is document absolutely everything that could show retaliatory behavior and adverse employment actions. This could include text messages, emails, work schedules showing a change in hours or location, and anything relevant to the situation.
Report Matter to Human Resources
If you believe you’re facing unfair treatment and are being retaliated against for filing a legitimate workers’ compensation claim, you may want to consider reporting the issue to HR if you are comfortable doing so. Their purpose is to help solve these types of employment-related issues. Document all of your communication with HR in case you need it for future legal proceedings.
Seek Legal Help
Legal issues surrounding workers’ compensation claims can be complex and may require professional guidance, especially if your HR department isn’t taking your claim seriously or hasn’t done anything to provide help. An experienced attorney will help you take the necessary steps to ensure that your rights are no longer being violated.
By taking these steps, you assert your rights and take control of the situation, ensuring that you are not unjustly penalized for exercising your right to workers’ compensation. If you have questions or need help with a workers’ comp issue, contact our trusted Washington D.C. workers compensation lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.