Almost every employer in Michigan must carry workers’ compensation insurance so that if an employee gets hurt or sick on the job, they can file a claim. However, companies often do not like it when this happens because it could make their premiums go up.
Retaliation is one tactic that employers use to reduce the number of workers’ comp claims among their workforce. Not only can retaliation punish an injured worker just for filing a rightful claim for compensation, it can also intimidate coworkers into not filing future claims when they get hurt at work.
Signs your employer is retaliating against you
Retaliation against injured workers who filed for workers’ compensation is illegal in Michigan. The state’s workers’ compensation statute says an employer cannot “discharge an employee or in any manner discriminate against an employee” because that employee made a workers’ comp claim. Besides firing the employee, possible forms of illegal retaliation include:
- Demoting the worker
- Cutting the workers’ hours or shifts
- Reassigning the worker to undesirable shifts, clients, or duties
- Refusing to grant the worker a raise or promotion they have earned
- Creating a toxic work environment through threats, remarks or jokes at the workers’ expense
Often, a retaliating employer will claim that business-related reasons justified the way they treated an employee. Evidence of the truth can include statements made by the employee’s manager or supervisor, emails, positive performance reviews, and so on. These pieces of evidence can show that the way the business treated the employee and rated their performance changed after they filed for workers’ compensation.
Getting justice after workers’ comp retaliation
Uncovering this type of evidence can be difficult. Michigan employers know that retaliation is against the law. They will work hard to cover up their actions to avoid being taken to court. Fortunately, experienced workers’ compensation attorneys know the signs of retaliation and know how to help victims take legal action.