Getting injured on the job can be one of the most devastating events in a worker’s career. In addition to the physical damage of the workplace injury, employees are then put in the uncomfortable position of informing their employer about their need to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, many employers make matters worse by using coercive and intimidating tactics to discourage employees from filing workers’ compensations claims. If an employer engages in coercive or intimidating tactics against an employee that attempts to file a valid claim for workers’ compensation benefits, then that employer has engaged in illegal behavior for which the employer is liable.
Florida law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees after a worker files or attempts to file a valid claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The Tampa workers’ compensation retaliation lawyers at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC are very familiar with the laws surrounding workers compensation and can help you understand your rights.
In addition to the types of illegal behavior outlined in Florida’s workers’ compensation statutes, Florida courts recognize other types of behavior that are covered by Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. For instance, it is recognized that employers cannot retaliate against an employee due to a workers’ compensation claim filed by the employee at a prior job. Moreover, workers that are associated with an employee that suffers a workplace injury and files or attempts to file a valid claim for workers’ compensation benefits are protected against workplace retaliation by their employer (for example, John and Jane worked together at the same company. John gets injured on the job and is subsequently fired. Jane is also fired due to her association with John).
Employer retaliation can take many forms, impacting many different terms and conditions of employment, including:
These are just some of many forms of retaliation in the workplace and courts will often consider an employer’s behavior to be retaliatory if the action against the employee would reasonably dissuade other workers from engaging in similar activity that is protected.
Many workers do not realize that there is interplay between many anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws. For example, workers that are injured on the job may also have claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA). Thus, it is important consult with attorneys with in-depth knowledge of these laws and the nuances associated with each statute.
Florida law prohibits employers from coercing employees or retaliating against workers when it comes to their workers’ compensation claims. If you believe that your employer has engaged in coercive or retaliatory conduct toward you after suffering an on-the-job injury, Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC is here to help. If you would like to discuss these issues, please contact our office for a free consultation or call us at 727-254-5255.