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Workers’ Compensation Discrimination Attorneys

You shouldn’t be fired or discriminated against for exercising your rights

West Virginia law requires virtually all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are hurt on the job, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim* on a no-fault basis – and your employer cannot treat you differently because you exercised your rights.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in practice. If your employer fired you, laid you off, or took other adverse action because you exercised your rights to workers’ comp, you have legal recourse. A workers’ compensation discrimination lawyer can help. Schedule your free case evaluation with Klie Law Offices today.

What is workers’ compensation retaliation?

Workers’ comp retaliation is any adverse employment action taken against someone who filed a workers’ compensation claim in good faith. Some examples of workers’ comp retaliation include:

  • Firing you or laying you off
  • Failing to reinstate you to your previous position or a comparable position after you have recovered from your injury
  • Passing you over for promotions or raises
  • Taking you off more prestigious projects or denying professional development opportunities

West Virginia law explicitly prohibits employers from firing someone who is on temporary total disability benefits (that is, completely out of work due to a work injury) and from failing to reinstate an employee who has been cleared to return to work by their doctor. Other forms of discrimination are not necessarily addressed by statute, but the courts have ruled that there is a public policy reason to protect workers from workers’ comp discrimination.

What are the elements of a workers’ compensation discrimination claim?

In West Virginia, to prove workers’ comp retaliation, you need to show three key elements:

  1. You were injured on the job.
  2. You filed a workers’ compensation claim.
  3. The workers’ compensation filing was a significant factor in the employer’s decision to discharge you or take other adverse action.

If you have enough evidence of these three factors, the burden of proof shifts to your employer to show a legitimate reason unrelated to your workers’ compensation filing. You then have the opportunity to provide evidence to show that their reason is pretextual and that your workers’ compensation filing was the real reason.

Why you need a workers’ compensation discrimination lawyer

Unfortunately, just because you’re protected by law doesn’t mean winning your case will be easy. Employers rarely admit that they fired you or took other adverse action because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. Instead, they will offer some other reason – perhaps they’ll claim you suddenly had poor job performance (even though the quality of your work didn’t change) or violated some obscure company policy that was never enforced before.

Our job is to get to the bottom of what happened and secure the evidence that you were discriminated against or retaliated against because of your workers’ compensation claim. Based on this evidence, we’ll build a case for reinstatement or other legal recourse on your behalf. Often, we can negotiate a resolution with the employer, but if they won’t cooperate, we are prepared to take them to court.

It's important to act quickly, however, before important evidence disappears and legal deadlines expire. The sooner you get a workers’ comp discrimination attorney on your side, the more effectively we’ll be able to protect your legal rights. Schedule your free case evaluation with the legal team at Klie Law Offices today.

*Please note that Klie Law Offices does not handle workers’ compensation claims; we represent workers who were wrongfully terminated or discriminated against after filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you need help filing for workers’ compensation, we can refer you to a workers’ compensation attorney.

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