Can one be fired for seeking workers' compensation?

Many Connecticut workers injured on the job might have the right to get workers' compensation benefits, but are afraid to because there was an implied or direct threat to their job, if they did so. For workers who are facing this type of situation, it is important to know the law and how it deals with employers who are engaging in this activity. If it happens, the worker should consider filing a lawsuit.

An employer is not allowed to discharge or discriminate against a worker when the worker has filed for workers' compensation benefits. If this occurs, the worker can file a civil suit to seek reinstatement to the job, back pay, the benefits that should have been available if there was no discrimination or a discharge, and other damages that the treatment created. It is also possible to receive punitive damages. Winning the case in court will yield reasonable fees for the attorney.

If the worker decides not to file a lawsuit, it is possible to lodge a complaint with the state's Workers' Compensation Commission regarding the violation that was committed. When the chairman of the WCC gets this complaint, a commissioner will be named to hear it. If there was a previous decision by a commissioner, that commissioner cannot hear the new claim. A decision will be made and each side will receive a written copy. The employee might have the job reinstated, get back pay, and have the benefits reestablished. There will also be reasonable attorney's fees. The parties have the right to appeal the decision if they disagree with it.

Being injured at work is bad enough without needing to worry about employment status and being mistreated simply for exercising one's rights to file a workers' compensation claim. Unfortunately, it does happen. People who have faced this treatment should be aware that they have rights and a legal professional experienced in workers' compensation can help.

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