Workers’ compensation is meant to provide medical coverage and compensation for employees who were injured on the job. Each state has some form of workers’ compensation law, including Massachusetts. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, every employer in the state is required to supply workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of an accident at work.
However, workers’ compensation claims are not always as simple as filing a claim and receiving treatment or compensation for lost wages. About half of all claims are disputed by employers or their insurance companies. Workers in these cases have the right to appeal their claims.
In other unfortunate instances, an employee may face retribution from his or her company for reporting a workplace injury accident. In fact, many employees don’t report workplace injuries because they are afraid of the consequences, states the Wall Street Journal. There are numerous reasons this may occur, which may include:
- Workers who face peer pressure to withhold an accident if there is an incentive or prize for setting safety records
- An employer demoting or firing an employee after being ordered to pay a settlement for an injury
- Employees being told the accident was their fault and they will face penalties
It is against federal law for an employer to retaliate against someone for reporting a workplace injury, a fact that many employees may not realize. There are numerous options a work accident victim has if his or her employer retaliates for reporting an accident, including seeking legal help.