According to an article in Business Insurance (September 14, 2015), injured employees are more likely to win retaliation claims because comp cases have a lower burden of proof and there is empathy for the injured worker. It is not only the termination of an employee that triggers a claim; it could be any employment action that allegedly results from the employee’s claim, including reduction in benefits and reassignment to a different position or location.
Common mistakes made by employers:
- Using the injury as a way to get rid of a problem employee.
- Inflexible policies about the expiration of FMLA leave.
- Failure to accommodate requests for additional time off or demonstrate that the absence causes undue hardship.
- Alleging violation of attendance policies that have not been enforced consistently.
- Poor communication with injured employee, leading to uncertainty and fear.
- Inappropriate emails, text messages or phone conversations that suggest malingering or threaten disciplinary action and reflect ineffective training of managers and supervisors.
- Discussion among managers and co-workers that the employee “is faking it.”
- Delays in processing claims.
- No or poor return-to-work programs.
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