If you’ve been hurt on the job, then you’ve got a lot on your plate. You have to figure out how to pay your medical bills, cover your lost wages, and recover your physical and mental health so that you can get back to work. Yet, even if you’re able to do those things, you might still face challenges when you return to the workplace. This is because far too often employers unfairly and illegally retaliate against workers who have been hurt.
How do employers retaliate?
There are many ways that your employer can retaliate against you. They can decrease your pay, demote you, or even fire you. Sometimes the retaliation is obvious, which makes it easy for you to take legal action against your employer to set things right. In other instances, though, the retaliation is sneaky, which means that it can be harder to catch.
So, if you’ve been hurt at work and are suspicious that you’re now being treated unfairly, then you might want to consider if you’re being subjected to any of the following forms of retaliation:
- Reduced hours: If you’re an hourly worker, then you need time at work to make ends meet. But after suffering an injury, your employer may reduce your hours, which directly cuts your pay. This can happen even after you get an “all clear” from your doctor. Your employer may try to guise the move as taking your health into account, but don’t be fooled. This move could be a way to retaliate against you for taking time off and pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. It might also be your employer’s attempt to force you out of your job.
- Reassignment: When you return to work after taking time off to focus on your recovery, you probably hope to return to your same position. But your employer may not allow you to do so. Instead, your employer might force you into a less desirable position with job duties that you’re unfamiliar with. While the work itself may not be what you want, which is bad enough, you may not be given additional training to complete your tasks, which can put you at risk of being disciplined in some fashion for inadequate work performance. In other words, being reassigned can start a snowball effect that leaves you at risk. That’s why this is a seemingly minor change that can actually be a sneaky way of retaliating against you.
- Poor performance appraisal: For a lot of workers, their compensation is directly tied to their performance. The better they do in a given year, the bigger of a raise they will receive. But those who have been hurt at work are oftentimes given lower marks because they missed work or because they needed accommodations when they returned to work. This is unfair, and it’s a sneaky way that employers retaliate against those who have been injured in the workplace.
Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of by your employer
You have a lot of rights as a worker. Don’t let your employer violate them without a fight. If you suspect that you’ve been treated unfairly or have otherwise been taken advantage of by your employer, then now may be the time for you to seek legal advice.
After all, nothing is going to change if you sit silently and allow your employer to do whatever it wants. But if you want to set things right and potentially recover compensation for the wrong that has been caused to you, then we encourage you to reach out to a legal team that you think will aggressively advocate on your behalf.