If you have recently been injured on the job, you are likely trying to figure out your options for what you should do. You may be wondering if you should take time off work, what medical treatment will be necessary or whether financial support through workers’ compensation will cover these expenses. You may also be wondering if you should even file a workers’ compensation in the first place.
Some people in this situation can be hesitant to file a claim or report their injury to their employer. They worry that doing so could make them look bad or put them in the position to get fired or subjected to other retaliatory action. However, Ohio workers’ compensation laws are clear: Employers cannot fire a worker for exercising his or her right to pursue or collect workers’ compensation.
Should an employer fire, demote, reassign or otherwise penalize an injured worker for filing a claim, there may be legal grounds to file a claim for wrongful termination against the employer.
However, it should be noted that employers will often dispute allegations of retaliation by citing other reasons that were a factor in their decision. For instance, they may say that a person was fired not because he or she was injured on the job and filed a claim for compensation, but because that worker broke the rules, violated safety protocols or was not meeting performance standards in the first place.
Because of how difficult and frightening it can be to face the possibility of getting fired or being away from a job, many people decide not to file a workers’ compensation claim. This can ultimately prove to be a costly mistake. Your injury could get worse over time; depleting your sick days or vacation time may prove to still be inadequate in helping you recover; draining your savings can have financial repercussions for years.
While you may be nervous about your options and rights regarding workers’ compensation, you should make sure you understand what they are before you make a decision. If you have been hurt at work, discussing your situation and your injury with an attorney can help you make an informed decision that is in your best interests.