Employer Retaliation on the Rise

employer retaliation decreasing amount of work injury claims

Statistics show that the amount of workplace injuries in the US has dropped 31 percent in the last decade, but this number may be misleading. "Employer retaliation" is on the rise or, in other words, there is more employer-induced pressure on employees to not report on-the-job injuries. In 2012, there were about 100 federal and state court cases involving employer retaliation—double the amount of cases in 2011.

Despite the numbers, many employers claim retaliation against filing for workers' compensation benefits isn't occurring; rather, they claim the decrease is largely due to safety crackdowns. Employers sometimes offer controversial programs that encourage employees to "stay safe" at work: company-wide bonuses for having little to no injuries, friendly competitions between company branches, and even drawings to win premium cars for the "safest" employees (those who have not been injured). But the programs aren't necessarily keeping workers safe; rather, they are preventing workers from reporting injuries.

In a study of St. Louis and Chicago carpentry industries, researchers found that only 47 percent of work-related injuries are reported. In another study that surveyed doctors who treated patients injured at work, one out of three doctors admitted that patients' employers have approached them to provide treatment that wouldn't need to be recorded by the employers. For example, if a worker was burned at work and a bandage was used to treat the burn, the injury is minor enough to not be recorded. But, if the burn was treated was treated with a prescription cream, the employer would be forced to record the injury and pay the expense of the treatment.

In addition to employer retaliation, there are other contributing factors to the decrease in workplace injuries, such as new state legislations. Many injuries have also just simply not been recorded yet—many workplace injuries are not immediately apparent, as was the case with asbestos-related injury.

Injured on the Job?

If you, or someone you love, suffered from a workplace injury, you need to learn your legal rights. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we have the experience necessary to help get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries—over 35 years of it.

Call us now at 412-394-1000 or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage for a no obligation, free legal consultation. You may have a case, and you need to act now.

"Workplace Injuries Drop, but Claims of Employer Retaliation Rise." The Wall Street Journal. July 22, 2013.