Workers Compensation Retaliation
Florida Statute 440.205 protects employees from being intimidated, coerced, threatened, or discharged in retaliation for filing or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim. Generally speaking, injured workers are entitled to have their medical expenses paid for when they are injured on the job, to receive a portion of their wages paid to them as benefits while they are disabled from working, and to return to their job when they are released to return to work by their doctor. The attorneys at Celeste Law Firm in West Palm Beach will fight for the injured worker to obtain benefits and be free from retaliation by your employer under Florida law.
Florida’s Worker’s Compensation Retaliation Law
Florida Statutes section 440.205 states: “No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law.” This law prohibits any kind of action taken by an employer to try to prevent an employee from filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Proving a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Retaliation
A worker who believes he or she was wrongfully terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim (or attempting to file a claim) can bring a lawsuit in Circuit Court to recover money damages, such as lost wages, a loss in earning capacity, payment of future medical benefits, pain and suffering, and loss or enjoyment of life in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. The worker must generally be able to show that the termination was related to a protected activity. This can be accomplished by proving that the employer knew of the workplace accident or injury or the employee’s workers’ compensation claim, and fired the employee soon after. The employer may claim that the termination was not in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim but for some other reason such as a bad economy or employee misconduct. The employee must then show that the employer’s reason was actually a sham pretext, and that retaliation was the true cause. There may be additional available causes of action for wrongful termination including, but not limited to, ADA violations, EEOC claims, Federal Civil Rights violations, Wage and Hour claims, and others.
How An Experienced Florida Workers Compensation Lawyer Can Help
Workers’ Compensation Retaliation claims are complex, and the burden lies with the worker to prove that an illegal or retaliatory discharge did in fact occur. At Celeste Law Firm, our attorneys – including Michael J. Celeste, Jr., who is a Florida Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation specialist – understand how to develop the facts and present a persuasive case to judge or jury in a Workers’ Compensation Retaliation matter. If you believe you were discharged or otherwise mistreated for filing or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim, contact our West Palm Beach Workers Compensation Retaliation attorneys for a free consultation regarding your claims and how we can help.