When Connecticut implemented its workers’ compensation program, the program was designed to be the “exclusive remedy” for on-the-job accidents and injuries. This means that in most cases, you are not allowed to sue your employer for your workplace injuries – filing a workers’ compensation claim is the exclusive legal remedy.
This may seem unfair, but employees do get some benefits in return. First and foremost, you don’t need to prove fault for the accident in order to file a workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, your employer is not allowed to fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, too many employers do retaliate because their workers don’t understand their rights as employees.
Getting fired is the most blatant form of retaliation, but certainly not the only one. Your employer or supervisor may retaliate in subtler ways such as:
- Giving you a poor performance review after you file a claim
- Refusing a promotion or pay increase that you were promised or were previously eligible for
- Being demoted, transferred or reassigned to a less-desirable position without explanation or justification
- Problems with your pay schedule, overtime or other wage-related issues
- Disciplinary action that seems contrived or overblown
Why would employers retaliate? Usually, it’s because workers’ compensation claims may end up costing the company money in the form of higher insurance premiums or similar costs. But access to workers’ compensation is your right as an injured employee. If your employer tries to punish or fire you for utilizing it, you can hold the company liable in court.
Our firm is proud to represent workers who have faced retaliation after filing a claim. If your lawsuit is successful, we may be able to help you recover back pay and force your employer to cover attorneys’ fees.
If you’d like to know more about your rights and how we can protect them, please read our page on retaliation issues.