Workplace injuries and occupational illnesses are both common in Kansas City and throughout the U.S., which is why the system of workers’ compensation was put in place for all types of occupations. Whether you are an office worker or a construction worker, you have the same rights to workers’ compensation, which pays for all of your medical treatment and kicks in up to two-thirds of your wages while you are off work. Maximum Kansas workers’ compensation benefits include $630 for weekly compensation, $155,000 for permanent total disability, and $300,000 for death. If you have filed a claim, it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate in any way. Whether your claim is accepted or not, your employer cannot make any adverse employment actions against you.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation in Kansas City
Under Kansas statute 44-534, a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within three years of the injury or two years from the date of last payment, whichever is later. This means that you have the right to file for workers’ compensation long after the date of an original injury. For instance, you may have injured your back two years ago and never fully recovered, all that time thinking that the pain would go away. In this scenario, it is not too late to file for compensation so that you can seek medical attention for your injuries. However, the best practice is to immediately seek medical attention to get a doctor’s prognosis after being injured, and then file for workers’ compensation right away. This not only increases the chances of your claim going through but maximizes the financial compensation that you will receive.
How Employers Retaliate Against Sick and Injured Employees
When an employer hears that an employee is thinking about filing a workers’ compensation claim or learns that an employee has already filed a claim, the employer may take an unlawful action in order to avoid the responsibility of paying for the employee’s medical and wage benefits. While the employer does not pay these costs directly (their insurance company does) the employer’s premiums are based on the number of workers’ compensation claims for which they are responsible. Common types of retaliation include the following:
- Terminating the employee;
- Harassing the employee, which includes any actions that causes the employee to become ridiculed by coworkers or managers;
- Putting the employee through increased surveillance or monitoring;
- Giving poor performance reviews that are not based on the employee’s actual job performance;
- Refusing to promote the employee;
- Demoting the employee, lowering their pay, or reducing their hours;
- Withholding the employee’s wages;
- Refusing to pay overtime;
- Giving the employee a bad reference after leaving or making it difficult for the employee to find other employment; and
- Threatening the employee either professionally or personally.
Call a Kansas City Employment Retaliation Lawyer
When you get injured or become sick on the job due to exposure to toxic or harmful substances, your employer cannot retaliate, whether or not you file a workers’ compensation claim. For legal assistance, we urge you to contact a Kansas City employment lawyer with HKM Employment Attorneys today.