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Workers’ compensation retaliation is illegal in Virginia

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Following an accident at the workplace that resulted in an injury, you may be hesitant or scared to report it to your employer. You are probably worried they will be upset, or it might ruin the relationship you have with them or even your job.

Virginia law requires businesses with two or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and if you are injured on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, even though your employer does not pay for your workplace injuries out of pocket under workers’ compensation, it raises their insurance premiums. This could explain why they may act adversely against employees who file claims.

Examples of workplace retaliation

Employers may be subtle in their actions, which is probably why many employees are usually unaware that their rights are being infringed upon. However, any negative reaction based on your intention to file or after filing for workers’ compensation can be a form of retaliation. They include:

  •       A demotion
  •       Unwarranted disciplinary action
  •       A wage deduction
  •       Refusal to hire
  •       Facing isolation at the workplace
  •       Reduced responsibilities

Are you facing retaliation for filing workers’ compensation?

Even if you are employed at will, your employer cannot fire you solely because you filed for workers’ compensation. However, proving that their actions amount to retaliation is not so straightforward. For instance, your employer may cite your discharge to a dip in performance or absenteeism.

Therefore, you may need some form of evidence to back up your claims that your employer’s actions are retaliatory. If the court finds the reasons for such actions provided by your employer are valid, then it cannot be said to be retaliation. To protect your legal rights, you need to carefully analyze the important aspects of your case and proceed with the necessary knowledge to deal with such situations.