Fired After Being Hurt at Work
Under Massachusetts law, employers have a duty to provide workers’ compensation benefits to eligible employees who sustain injuries at work. Unfortunately, some employers take issue with upholding their obligations and subsequently terminate employees who file workers’ compensation claims. Retaliating against employees who suffer injuries is unlawful, and people who are fired after being hurt at work have the right to pursue claims against their employers. If your employer terminated you after you suffered harm in the workplace, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a dedicated Bristol County workers’ compensation lawyer who can craft persuasive arguments on your behalf to aid you in the pursuit of any benefits or damages recoverable under the law. Mr. Meehan often represents employees in workers’ compensation matters in Bristol County and in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties.Massachusetts Laws Protecting Injured Employees from Retaliation
The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) provides that an employer cannot discharge, refuse to hire, or discriminate in any other way against an employee simply because the employee exercised a right afforded by the Act. In other words, the Act bars an employer from firing an employee for seeking workers’ compensation benefits on the grounds that the employee filed a workers’ compensation claim after being hurt at work. The Act also prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions against people who testify in workers’ compensation proceedings, or cooperate with investigations of claims, unless they knowingly participate in a fraudulent proceeding.Recourse for Employees Who Are Fired After Being Hurt at Work
Under the Act, any employee who is fired after being hurt at work may initiate a civil claim against his or her employer in the county in which the violation allegedly happened. An employee seeking to prove that a claim of retaliatory discharge for seeking workers’ compensation benefits must demonstrate that he or she engaged in an activity protected by the Act, like filing a claim, the employer was aware that the employee participated in the protected activity, and the employer took an adverse action against the employee. Notably, the employee must also show that the employer would not have taken the harmful action against the employee if the employee had not participated in behavior protected by the Act.
Employers will often try to defend against retaliatory discharge claims by arguing the employee was terminated for a lawful reason, such as poor job performance. Employers may also argue that employees did not partake in any activities protected by the Act or that they were unaware of any engagement in such behavior.
A variety of relief may be available for employees who can establish that their employers violated the Act by retaliating against them after they suffered harm at work. Specifically, they may be granted suitable employment and any wages they lost because of their termination. They may be reimbursed for any reasonable attorneys’ fees they incurred in taking the legal action necessary to protect their rights as well. The Act also broadly states that the courts may grant any equitable relief they deem necessary to protect employees’ rights.Speak to a Proficient Bristol County Attorney
Employees who sustain injuries in the workplace have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Still, some employers terminate workers who file claims for benefits in an attempt to punish them. The law protects injured workers from retaliatory tactics, though, and people who are fired after being hurt at work can often recover substantial compensation. If you lost your job after suffering a workplace injury, you should speak to an attorney about your potential claims. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a proficient lawyer who is skilled at handling the complexities of workers’ compensation matters, and he will work tirelessly to help you seek a successful result. Mr. Meehan has an office in Taunton, and he frequently represents people hurt at work in claims in Bristol County and also in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties. You can contact Mr. Meehan through the form online or by calling 508-822-6600 to set up a complimentary and confidential meeting.