I Was Fired After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim, Can I Retaliate?

In Illinois, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. As such, if you have been fired after filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to file a retaliatory discharge lawsuit against your former employer.

To prove that you were fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you will need to show that:

(1) You filed a workers’ compensation claim
(2) You were fired shortly after filing the claim
(3) There was a causal connection between the two events

If you can prove that your firing was in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may be entitled to damages, and a Chicago retaliatory discharge lawyer at North Suburban Legal Services, LLC can help.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation in Illinois is a system of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. Benefits can include medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits. Workers’ compensation is typically mandatory in most jurisdictions, meaning employers must provide coverage for their employees.

What Are Employees’ Rights When It Comes to Workers’ Compensation?

Employees have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured or become ill as a result of their job. Workers may also be entitled to income replacement payments if they are unable to work because of their injury or illness. If the worker dies as a result of a work-related accident, the family of the deceased employee may be entitled to benefits.

Benefits are provided by both the insurance company, and in some cases, by the state and federal governments. Depending on where you work, private insurance, the state government, or the federal government would be responsible for administering workers’ compensation benefits and paying claims from its general fund.

Why Do Some Employers Feel Offended As To Fire Staff Who File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

There are a few reasons why an employer might feel offended at the thought of someone filing a workers’ compensation claim.

First, workers’ compensation is often seen as an admission of guilt, as if the employee is admitting that they were somehow at fault for the accident or injury.

Secondly, filing a workers’ compensation claim can be expensive for the employer, both in terms of the possibility of increased workers’ compensation premiums and in terms of the administrative time and resources that go into processing those claims.

Third, some employers may feel offended or simply feel that the employee is trying to take advantage of the system, and is not really injured.

Fourth, some employers never bought insurance, expecting their employees to just tough it out if they are injured.

Firth, when an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, it can be a sign that the set government policies were not followed by that employer and that the employer may be liable for damages.

Common Forms of Employer Retaliation

Employers retaliate against employees in a variety of ways. Some common forms of retaliation include demoting or firing an employee, reducing the employee’s hours, harassing the employee, and blacklisting the employee.

Retaliation can also take the form of subtle forms, such as adverse actions, giving the employee undesirable work assignments, or changing the employees’ work schedule without notice. Employers may also try to intimidate the employee into not reporting the retaliatory behavior.

If an employee faces adverse action, they may be less likely to speak up against their employer. This is because they may be concerned that they will lose their job and will not be able to support themselves and their family. At this point, some employees believe that if they are fired, they may have a harder time finding another job, which would make them limit their ability to retaliate.

But don’t! You are giving up your rights if you do so and may be paving the way for further unwanted, unlawful, and unhealthy behavior(s) from your employer.

What To Do if You’re Retaliated Against

If an employee experiences retaliation from their employer, the first step is to document what happened. Write down the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as what transpired. Save any emails or voicemails that are related to the incident. If possible, take pictures or videos of the retaliation.

After documenting the incident, the next step is to reach out to a lawyer.

The lawyer can help you open a case at the federal level with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC can investigate your case and may be able to help you get back pay, damages, and other remedies. The lawyer may also take up the case at the state level by filing a claim with the Illinois Department of Labor.

The lawyer may also help you file a civil suit against the employer. The lawsuit will be heard by a judge or jury, and you may recover damages for any losses you sustained as a result of your employer’s retaliatory act.

What Are Some Steps Employees Can Take if They Are Fired After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Just as with other forms of retaliation, if an employee is fired after filing a workers’ compensation claim, they are able to take legal action against their employer. The same steps also need to be taken; filing a complaint with the state labor department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or filing a lawsuit.

How To Prove Retaliation

There are a few ways to prove that an employer has retaliated against an employee. One way is to show that the employer has made a negative change in the employee’s working conditions after the employee filed a complaint or engaged in some other legally protected activity (such as after filing a workers’ compensation claim). This can include things like demoting the employee, reducing their pay, or cutting their hours. Other acceptable kinds of evidence include witness testimony, emails, text messages, and other documentation that supports the allegation of retaliation.

Additionally, the timing of the retaliatory act can be significant evidence. For example, if an employee is fired shortly after complaining about discrimination, this could be strong evidence of retaliation.

Contact Our Chicago Retaliatory Discharge Lawyers

In conclusion, it is important to understand that workers’ compensation retaliation is illegal in Illinois. If you have been fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against after filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may have a case. Contact North Suburban Legal Services, LLC experienced Chicago retaliatory discharge attorneys to discuss your options at 312-909-6089.

It is important to take action quickly, as the window for filing a retaliation claim in Illinois is typically short.




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