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7 Signs of Employer Retaliation After Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim

  • Published: April 9, 2024

Every employee should feel confident exercising their right to file a workers’ compensation claim in California. However, in some unfortunate cases, employers may retaliate against their employees for seeking the benefits they are entitled to. If you have recently filed a workers’ compensation claim and are experiencing negative treatment at work as a result, it is important to understand the signs of employer retaliation.

At KCNS Law Group, we believe that every employee deserves fair treatment and protection under the law. Our experienced team of attorneys specializes in workers’ compensation cases and is dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process with compassion and expertise. If you believe you are being retaliated against by your employer, we are here to support you and fight for your rights.

Common Forms of Employer Retaliation

Employer retaliation can be difficult to prove, but a skilled legal team can help determine and prove retaliation, such as the following: 

1. Sudden Changes in Job Duties

One of the first signs of employer retaliation after filing a workers’ comp claim is sudden changes in your job duties or schedule. If you find that you are being assigned less favorable tasks, receiving fewer hours, or being unfairly demoted shortly after submitting a claim, it may be a sign that your employer is attempting to punish you for seeking benefits. Your employer may also isolate you from coworkers or exclude you from important meetings or events, creating a hostile work environment.

2. Verbal or Physical Abuse

Another common form of retaliation is verbal or physical abuse from supervisors or coworkers. If you are being subjected to threats, intimidation, or harassment related to your workers’ comp claim, it is crucial to document these incidents and seek legal counsel to protect yourself. It is important to remember that you have the right to a safe and respectful work environment, regardless of your decision to file a claim.

3. Unfair Termination

Unfair termination is a clear indicator of employer retaliation following a workers’ compensation claim. If an employee is suddenly fired or laid off shortly after filing a claim, it may suggest retaliation by the employer. Termination without valid reasons or in violation of company policies could be a sign of punitive action in response to the claim.

4. Unsubstantiated Disciplinary Actions

Another sign of employer retaliation is when an employee faces unwarranted disciplinary actions following a workers’ compensation claim. Employers may use disciplinary measures such as write-ups, suspensions, or demotions to retaliate against employees who assert their rights to compensation and benefits.

Employees who find themselves subject to unsubstantiated disciplinary actions should document the incidents, gather evidence, and consider seeking support from HR departments or legal professionals. By challenging baseless disciplinary actions through established grievance procedures, employees can protect themselves from further retaliation.

5. Exclusion From Team Activities

Exclusion from team activities can also be a subtle yet significant sign of employer retaliation. Employers may isolate employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims by excluding them from meetings, projects, or social events within the workplace. This form of isolation can lead to feelings of alienation and further exacerbate the employee’s sense of being targeted.

6. Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment characterized by intimidation, harassment, or bullying is a strong indicator of employer retaliation. Following a workers’ compensation claim, employees may face increased hostility, unwarranted scrutiny, or verbal abuse from supervisors or colleagues as a form of retaliation for asserting their rights.

7. Micromanaging

Micromanaging is another potential sign of employer retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim. Employers may excessively monitor, control, or criticize the work of employees who have sought compensation for workplace injuries. This level of micromanaging can lead to stress, decreased job satisfaction, and hindered productivity.

Contact a California Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Employees should recognize the signs of employer retaliation after filing a workers’ comp claim and take proactive steps to protect themselves. By staying informed, documenting any retaliatory behaviors, and seeking legal advice, employees can stand up for their rights and ensure they are treated fairly in the workplace.

If you believe you are being retaliated against by your employer after filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is vital to take action and protect your rights. KCNS Law Group is here to support you. Contact us at (818) 937-9255 or use our contact form.

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