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Employee alleges retaliation following workplace injury

On behalf of of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workplace Injuries on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Employers in Illinois are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to protect employees from the potential financial burden of injuries suffered at work. Despite carrying insurance that will compensate workers for a workplace injury, some employers are still less than thrilled when victims seek the benefits to which they are entitled. Retaliation by these types of employers can be an unfortunate reality for many injured workers.

In 2009, a woman was hired by Midwest Petroleum Co. and assigned to two different locations in Illinois. She continued to work for the company without incident until she was injured in April 2011. By that point, she had even received a promotion and was an assistant manager. After suffering an injury to her knee, she filed for benefits from workers’ compensation and was out of work until July 2011.

When she returned, her hours were allegedly cut. In her claim, she also cited being on the receiving end of harassment from upper level employees. Soon after, she says that she was continually disciplined for non-existent infractions. She was ultimately fired for texting on the job, although she believes there is sufficient evidence that other employees text while on the clock without any negative impact to their employment.

Unfortunately, retaliation for reporting a workplace injury can wrongly deter other victims from seeking benefits that are often necessary for optimal recovery. Even if an employer threatens to retaliate against a worker for filing a workers’ compensation claim, Illinois law is on the side of the victim. Injured workers have the right to just and fair compensation, as well as a non-hostile work environment upon their return.

Source: madisonrecord.com, “Cashier accuses employer of wrongful termination following worker comp claim“, April 13, 2015

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