When a worker is injured during the course of their work, the first thing they should be focusing on is getting treatment and taking time for proper recovery. If the injury requires time off of work and incurs medical fees, it is very important that a worker be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits to cover these costs. Unfortunately, many Atlanta workers do not file workers’ compensation claims because they are scared of being fired or punished in some other form by their employer. Workers’ compensation, however, is a right for nearly all Atlanta workers who are injured through workplace accidents. if you are an injured worker and are scared of retaliation from your employer for filing a claim, talking to a workers’ compensation attorney who can explain your rights can be a big help.
Employer Retaliation and Georgia LawAccording to Georgia law, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee or commit any other retaliatory actions against workers for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, this does not necessarily prevent a worker from losing their job because of injuries.
What Constitutes RetaliationRetaliation is a fairly common form of punishment used by employers who are upset about paying the costs of a workers’ compensation claim. While workers frequently fear being fired in response to filing a claim, retaliation may come in a number of other detrimental forms. There are a number of discriminatory behaviors or harassment that would be considered retaliation including:
- Unwarranted changes in the employee’s position or responsibilities;
- Lowering of wages or other adverse wage actions;
- Changes in work shifts or hours;
- Undeserved poor performance reviews or negative references;
- Undeserved disciplinary actions;
- Retaliation against a co-employee for testifying in a workers’ compensation case;
- Failure to promote; and
- Other harassment or discriminatory behavior.