Under Florida law, if an employee is injured on the job, the first remedy that he or she must seek is to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. Once an employee files such a claim, the employer is prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against them. When employees sue for employer reprisal or discrimination in this regard, they typically allege one or more of the following:
- Withheld promotions
- Decreased wages
- Decreased benefits
- Employer harassment
- Change in job duties (usually that they become more difficult)
- Wrongful termination
Even if an employer has a valid business reason to either discipline or terminate an employee, they nonetheless face the prospect of costly fines and other legal consequences if they cannot prove the legitimacy of their actions. In other words, defending against discrimination claims involving worker’s compensation can be extremely challenging, requiring the assistance of a seasoned labor and employment defense attorney to help vindicate employers of alleged wrongdoing. Through investigating the alleged injury, reviewing an employer’s workplace policies and procedures, as well as examining the events leading up to the allegations, a skilled attorney will build a strong defense from the bottom up and maximize an employer’s chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Being an employer is not always easy, and sometimes that means having to either discipline or terminate employees for a variety of legitimate reasons. While some employer-employee conflicts are to be expected – especially in companies with numerous employees – dealing with an employment discrimination case is a serious legal matter. Although the best way to avoid this problem is through compliance, sometimes it just isn’t enough. Employees can and often do file false claims against their employers, which can have severe consequences if not properly addressed.