Everyone hopes that workers compensation claims are resolved quickly and easily, however sometimes workers’ compensation retaliation occurs. Workers’ compensation retaliation is when a person who has claimed or tried to claim workers’ compensation is fired or otherwise discriminated against by the company. At Buchanan, Williams & O’ Brien, we’ve successfully handled cases where this happens.
Experienced Workers Compensation Retaliation Lawyers
Our client was injured on the job. His employer sent him to a doctor as required by workers’ compensation law. The doctor said our client had a hip injury and needed surgery; however, the employer refused to provide the surgery and then fired our client under false pretenses claiming that he broke a work rule. This is a classic example of workers’ compensation retaliation.
We filed a workers’ compensation claim and filed a wrongful discharge lawsuit, which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims and exercising their legal rights. We sent our client to a doctor for an examination and sent written discovery to the employer. After negotiating for several weeks, we were able to successfully settle this workers compensation retaliation case for our client for $65,000.
Your Rights & Workers Compensation Retaliation
The courts have struggled with what rules and standards should be applied in workers’ compensation retaliation cases over the years. As workers comp claims have become more prevalent, it stands to reason that there is a corresponding increase in employer retaliation and thus workers compensation retaliation cases. Employment law is ever-evolving, and the state legislature has recently adopted a new law that governs workers’ compensation retaliation claims.
As of August 2017, employers might escape liability in a workers’ compensation retaliation case by demonstrating that an employee’s workers comp claim wasn’t exactly the “motivating factor” in their decision to fire the employee. This puts more burden on the employee to provide information and evidence that they were indeed the victim of workers’ compensation retaliation. However, hiring an experienced workers compensation retaliation attorney like those at BWO can help employees fight for their rights and ultimately win the compensation they deserve.
Additionally, workers’ compensation retaliation law has been tested multiple times, so there is the possibility this standard will change again. First written in 1984, the workers’ compensation retaliation law was contested (and confirmed) in 1998 by the MO Supreme Court and contested and revised in 2014 before this most recent revision in 2017.
For reference, the full text of the most recent workers compensation retaliation law is below.
287.780. Discharge or discrimination because of exercising compensation rights prohibited–civil action for damages
No employer or agent shall discharge or discriminate against any employee for exercising any of his or her rights under this chapter when the exercising of such rights is the motivating factor in the discharge or discrimination. Any employee who has been discharged or discriminated against in such manner shall have a civil action for damages against his or her employer. For purposes of this section, the “motivating factor” shall mean that the employee’s exercise of his or her rights under this chapter actually played a role in the discharge or discrimination and had a determinative influence on the discharge or discrimination.