Pennsylvania’s hardworking spirit fuels its economy, but unfortunately, workplace injuries can happen even in the most diligent environments. When your job leaves you hurt, filing for workers’ compensation is your right. However, whispers of fear sometimes arise: “What if my employer retaliates?” Retaliation for filing a legitimate claim is illegal, and understanding the signs can empower you to protect your rights.
According to a 2022 report by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Bureau, over 145,000 workers filed claims in the state, highlighting the importance of understanding workplace protections. While most employers respect the law, some may resort to unfair tactics to discourage workers’ comp claims.
Sudden changes in job duties or schedule
Being assigned physically demanding tasks or unreasonable hours after filing a claim could be a sign of retaliation. For example, if you filed a claim for a back injury, and now you are suddenly assigned tasks requiring heavy lifting, your employer could be trying to punish you.
Unexplained demotions or pay cuts
A sudden drop in rank or pay without performance-related justification may be a form of punishment for seeking compensation.
Increased scrutiny or hostile work environment
Unnecessary disciplinary actions, unfair criticism or a hostile work atmosphere can be tactics to pressure you into withdrawing your claim or even quit your job.
Termination without cause
Losing your job shortly after filing for workers’ comp raises suspicion of retaliation, especially if your performance was satisfactory before.
Pressure to settle unfairly
Accepting a quick settlement offer that does not adequately cover your expenses or medical needs could be a manipulative tactic. Remember that you do not have to accept the first settlement offer given to you.
Remember, you are not alone in navigating this situation. If you suspect retaliation, document everything! Keep detailed records of dates, times and specific incidents, including witness testimonies if available. Contact the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Bureau for guidance and support.
Don’t let fear silence you. Asserting your right to fair treatment and medical care is important, and the resources available in Pennsylvania can help you navigate this challenge with confidence. Remember, protecting your health and well-being is paramount, and seeking justice for unfair treatment is your right. Contact YOUR Workers’ Compensation Specialist for a free, no obligation consultation to learn how we can help you. Call 610-892-9300 or reach us online