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Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys / Blog / Workers Compensation / Retaliation After Workers’ Compensation Claims In Florida

Retaliation After Workers’ Compensation Claims In Florida


Florida’s workers’ compensation system protects those who are injured at work, covering most or all of their medical bills so that they are able to focus on physical and mental recovery. Most employers willingly make this bargain in exchange for workers giving up their right to sue over injuries. However, some do try to have their proverbial cake and eat it too, engaging in retaliatory behavior after an employee files for workers’ compensation. It can be difficult to tell if this is happening to you – an experienced attorney may be able to help clear the air.

The Law Is Clear

Despite the benefits they enjoy in exchange for having workers’ compensation coverage, some Florida employers grow unhappy with increased premiums or short staffing after someone is injured, and they may try to punish the employee that they see as responsible. It can be difficult to establish that your employer is retaliating against you – but you have the right to try, and you may be entitled to damages if you are able to establish a pattern of behavior.

Florida’s relevant statute on workers’ compensation retaliation is about as clear as a law can be, explicitly stating that an employer may not “discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce” any employee because of that employee’s valid workers’ compensation claim. In most cases like this, the difficulty is not in establishing that an employer has made threats or attempted to intimidate; rather, it will be in establishing that the direct cause of those threats was your workers’ compensation claim.

Difficult To Prove

The reason that it can be difficult to establish workers’ compensation retaliation in Florida is because it can take so many different forms, and happen in so many varying degrees. For example, sudden termination can be an immediate tell that retaliation has occurred – but at the same time, another common indicator is a demotion or bad performance review, which can easily be explained away by the needs of the company. Not every negative employment action will rise to the level of retaliation – but of course, some will.

Be advised that while employees are protected under Florida law against retaliation, many independent contractors are not. For example, a person who works strictly on commission falls into this category, and thus would be without much recourse if they were discriminated against or otherwise treated poorly. Knowing your status can make a difference in terms of your legal options.

Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Filing for workers’ compensation can be an overwhelming process, and the last thing an injured person needs is to have additional concerns on their plate when they should be focusing on getting life back to normal. A Orlando workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help. Call our office today for a free consultation.

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