When a Connecticut worker is injured on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can provide for medical care, lost time on the job and more. If the worker is covered by workers’ compensation, there should not be an issue with the employer retaliating against the worker for exercising his or her rights to receive benefits. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens. People who are confronted with discharge or discrimination because they have filed for workers’ compensation should know their rights and take steps to protect themselves with help from an attorney.
The Workers’ Compensation Act shields workers from being discharged or facing discrimination if it has happened because they filed for workers’ compensation benefits. If a worker has been penalized in this way, there are options to seek justice. The worker can file a civil claim in the relevant location of the employer’s principal office. He or she can also inform the Workers’ Compensation Commission saying that the law was violated.
When the WCC receives the complaint, the case will be heard by a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner in the local office that holds jurisdiction. If it is found that there was discrimination or a wrongful discharge, there are certain steps the Commissioner can take. These include being reinstated in the job, receiving back wages, getting benefits that were lost due to the violation and receiving compensation for reasonable attorney’s fees. When informing the WCC, the complaint must have the worker’s name and address; the employer’s name and address; the date at which the injury or illness occurred; and the date of the discrimination or discharge.
Those who are injured or become ill on the job should not be frightened to exercise their rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Discrimination or discharge due to filing for workers’ compensation is against the law. If this has happened, the victim should contact an attorney who is experienced in all areas of workers’ compensation as soon as possible.
Source: wcc.state.ct.us, “State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission — Protection Against Discharge or Discrimination, page 16,” accessed on March 19, 2018