New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation provides no-fault medical and wage replacement benefits for injured workers in New Jersey. This means that if you are injured in a workplace accident or contract a work-related illness, your employer is required to pay you a certain amount of workers’ compensation as directed by state law. There is also a process in place for resolving any disputed claims.
Some workers are reluctant to file for workers’ comp because they fear that their employer may fire or otherwise punish them in response. But this is illegal. Even when an employer exercises its right to dispute a claim, it cannot respond to a claim by retaliating against the employee. If your employer has taken such actions, you need to speak with the experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation retaliation lawyers at Poulos LoPiccolo PC right away. We can advise you of your rights under the law and assist you in taking legal action against the employer.
Proving Retaliation Under New Jersey Law
New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws clearly state that an employer cannot “discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee as to [their] employment” because that employee claimed–or attempted to claim–workers’ compensation benefits. There are three essential things a person must prove in a workers’ compensation retaliation case:
- The employee claimed or attempted to claim workers’ compensation benefits. By law, an employee is required to promptly notify their employer of a work-related accident or illness to claim workers’ comp benefits. An employee can also show they are attempting to make a claim by exercising a right protected by the workers’ compensation law, such as attending a medical appointment following a workplace accident.
- The employee must show they were subject to some “retaliatory action” by the employer. Obviously, getting fired is a retaliatory action. But it can also mean a suspension, demotion, or any other adverse action that affects a person’s conditions of employment.
- There must be a causal connection between the retaliatory action and the claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Many employers will offer a seemingly legitimate pretext for taking a retaliatory action. The burden is therefore on the employee to show this was simply an excuse and that they were really being punished for asserting their rights under the workers’ compensation laws.
If you are the victim of workers’ compensation retaliation and can prove all of these things, a New Jersey court can award you lost wages and other monetary damages. Your employer can also face civil fines and even possible jail time for violating the law.
Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Lawyers
Every New Jersey worker hurt on the job has the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Even if a claim is ultimately reduced or denied, your employer can never use the fact that you sought benefits in the first place as grounds for punishing you at work. So if your employer has treated you unfairly and you need advice from a skilled New Jersey workers’ compensation retaliation lawyer, contact Poulos LoPiccolo PC today to schedule an initial consultation.