Workers in New Jersey have the right to compensation for work-related injuries. But some workers may also face the risk of workplace discrimination or retaliation for filing their workers’ compensation claim.
Workers must file a timely claim and seek medical care. This may be complicated if an employer discriminates against them for their claim. Typical methods include:
- Doing nothing to adjust the needs of the injured employee.
- Harassment or bullying of the worker who filed the compensation claim.
- Not promoting a worker because of their claim or taking other adverse actions such as a demotion or unwanted transfer.
- Treating the worker unfairly.
- Wrongful termination of the worker because of their claim.
New Jersey law
In New Jersey, it is illegal for an employer to fire or discriminate against a worker for filing or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim or testifying at a hearing. The primary solution is reinstatement to employment. Actions may be filed through civil or administrative proceedings.
Workers must be ready, willing, and able to engage in their work duties. If the discrimination is based upon the disabling injury, the worker may seek relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you believe that an employer is discriminating against you, do not aggravate the situation. Be careful about your actions and statements at work and on social media to avoid having these be used against you in any legal proceedings. Remain calm.
Document any potential discrimination or retaliation. Determine whether there were any witnesses. Be careful that you do not violate any laws against videotaping and wiretapping.
Seeking workers’ compensation claim requires proof and may be complicated. An attorney can help assure that you take appropriate actions, your interests are protected and that you do not inadvertently surrender rights.