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Can my Employer Retaliate Against Me for Filing a Worker’s Comp Claim?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2014 | Employment Law

Worker’s Compensation is guaranteed to every employee so that they are not forced to pay for injuries that occur while they are on the job. However, worker’s compensation claims are costly for the employer, and some managers may be held accountable for the number of claims made by their employees through performance reviews, raises, and other incentives. So what do you do if you are afraid your employer will retaliate against you for filing a worker’s compensation claim?

In West Virginia, it’s illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing a worker’s compensation claim. But to win a case against your employer, you must prove three crucial elements in court:

  1. That an on-the-job injury was sustained
  2. Proceedings were instituted under the Workers’ Compensation Act
  3. The filing of a workers’ compensation claim was a significant factor in the employer’s decision to discharge or otherwise discriminate against the employee.

So let’s break this down: in order to win a case of workplace retaliation, you can’t just be afraid that it might happen. It has to have happened, and you must have filed for compensation for your injury under the Worker’s Compensation Act, and you must be able to prove that filing your claim was a significant factor in a firing, demotion or other action taken against you. Only then can you file a claim, and it must be filed within two years of the adverse action.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304-523-8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.