After a workplace injury, most people struggle with worry and uncertainty. Will workers’ compensation really give you the help that you need to recover? If you don’t file a workers’ compensation claim, will you have what you need to pay your medical bills? How long will you be away from work? For many, these worries start with the workers’ compensation application and the worry that filing a claim will result in the loss of their job.
The law protects you from discrimination and retaliation.
While many workers worry that applying for workers’ compensation could cause them to lose their job, the truth is that the law protects your right to apply for these benefits. If your employer fires you, decreases your pay or denies you advancement or training opportunities because you filed a claim, this discrimination is illegal.
However, Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, and your employer may claim that they ended your contract for another reason. Because the court often follows a narrow interpretation of retaliation laws, it can be difficult to prove a retaliation claim in these cases. This makes it especially important to speak to an attorney after a workplace injury.
What should you do?
While filling a claim is not without challenges, it can still be helpful to file a claim. Delaying your application could result in missing the application deadline, leaving you unable to receive benefits. Applying can also help you establish a record of your injuries, the medical care you received, and the effort you have made to minimize the long-term damage of your injuries.
If you have concerns about retaliation, speak to an attorney with experience in the workers’ compensation process. They can ensure that you meet necessary deadlines and help you protect your rights throughout the workers’ compensation process.