Anybody can become injured at work. Some occupations, like construction and law enforcement, have a higher incidence of injury for workers than less physically-demanding jobs like office workers and teachers. But no matter what your occupation, you’re entitled to monetary compensation through workers’ compensation insurance for any injuries you sustain on the job.
If your claim is proven to be valid and you are awarded money, your employer is required to cover some or all of the expenses you incur due to your injury. Your employer may not retaliate or “punish” you in any way following your workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Washington
In Washington, workers’ compensation insurance claims are handled by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.Chapter 296-17 WAC outlines all the regulations that pertain to workers’ compensation insurance in Washington state.
Under RCW 51.28.050, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is one year following the accident that caused the injury. Seek medical attention immediately following any accident, even if your injury seems minor or nonexistent. Some conditions appear mild at first, then manifest months or years later. A doctor’s diagnosis of an injury is crucial to receiving all the monetary compensation you’re entitled to receive.
Forms of Retaliation
There are many ways an employer might choose to retaliate against an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim. Some examples are as follows:
- Termination, which is the firing of the employee for no reason other than his or her workers’ compensation claim.
- Harassment, which is any behavior that makes the employee into an object of ridicule in the workplace because of his or her decision to file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Increased surveillance of the employee, possibly citing that he or she needs extra supervision.
- Giving the employee an unwarranted poor performance review.
- Withholding the employee’s wages.
- Refusing to promote the employee when he or she becomes eligible for a promotion.
- Giving the employee a bad reference with a future employer despite his or her strong job performance.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim without having to fear retaliation from your employer. As a worker, you pay into the fund that covers workers’ compensation insurance throughout Washington. Whether you have high medical bills from your injury, a temporary or permanent disability because of it, lingering aches, pains and scars or you need help covering household expenses because of your reduced earnings, you are entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries.
Retaliation Attorneys Can Help
If you’ve suffered from an injury at work, seek medical attention immediately. After you’ve sought medical attention and have a confirmed diagnosis of an injury, contact our firm at 206-838-2504 to discuss your case with one of our experienced employment attorneys. Our team at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP is here to help you by guiding you toward the best solution for your case.