Can My Employer Retaliate If I File a Worker Compensation Claim?

Most employers are required by Florida law to have workers compensation insurance to cover the costs of treating work-related injuries. When you suffer an on-the-job injury, it is important report the incident to your employer immediately or as soon as you are able. Your employer will complete the needed claim forms so that you can obtain any needed medical treatment.

Why employers may want to fire you

Some employers try to fire employees who file a claim for workers compensation. Their reasoning includes the following issues:

  • More injury claims filed results in higher workers compensation insurance premiums
  • Employers often consider employees who have filed a claim to be a higher risk for future job related injuries
  • Employers also could be unwilling to reimburse their employees for time off required for treatment, doctor visits or other medical care related to the workplace injury

Thus, employers may look for ways to terminate the employment of workers who have sustained an injury and filed a claim for workers compensation.

Protection for Florida employees

The State of Florida makes it unlawful for workers compensation retaliation in Florida Statutes Section 440.205. Legally, an injured employee cannot be terminated for filing for workers compensation. The statutes do not protect an employee from being fired for legitimate reasons, but he or she can’t be fired for making their claim for benefits. In addition, Florida’s statutes state that the employee cannot be fired or harassed for stating they intend to make a worker compensation claim. Any violation of the Florida Statute may result in the employee receiving monetary damages, possibly including punitive damages, from his or her employer.

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