Were you hurt on the job in Delaware? You have the right to file for workers’ comp benefits to seek coverage for medical care and replacement for wages. You may be wondering: Can my employer punish me for filing for workers’ comp benefits? In Delaware, the answer is “no”—or at least it is illegal for an employer to take retaliatory action against an employer simply because they filed for workers’ comp benefits. Our Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyer provides an overview of workers’ comp retaliation claims in Delaware.
You Have a Right (and Duty) to Report a Work Injury in Delaware
In Delaware, every employee who suffers from a workplace injury has not only a right but also a duty to report the injury to their employer. Delaware law stipulates that any injury—no matter how minor it may seem—should be reported to the employer within a specific timeframe. Prompt reporting ensures that the injured worker can get the proper medical treatments. Notably, you must notify your employer of an injury to be eligible to file for workers’ comp benefits. Do not let an employee pressure you into not officially reporting your accident.
Employers Cannot Retaliate Against Workers
One of the paramount protections for employees in Delaware is the prohibition against employer retaliation. As explained by the Delaware Department of Labor, state law “prohibits the employer from firing or in any other manner discriminating against an employee because the employee has claimed or attempted to claim workers’ compensation benefits.” Some examples of discrimination include firing, demotion, pay cuts, or any other adverse action.
Note: The Delaware workers’ compensation retaliation statute applies to both workers who file for benefits themselves and those who support a co-worker’s workers’ comp claims.
Remedies for a Workers’ Comp Retaliation Claim in Delaware
If an employee in Delaware believes that they have faced retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, there are remedies available. First and foremost, the Delaware Department of Labor should be notified about the alleged retaliation. You have the right to seek the full workers’ compensation benefits that should have been paid for your initial claim.
Beyond that, other damages may be available. If you can prove retaliation, a worker in Delaware may be eligible for a number of different remedies, including reinstatement to their job, back pay for lost wages, and even compensation endured due to the retaliation. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to penalize particularly egregious behavior by employers.
Contact Our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
At Freibott Law Firm, our Delaware workers’ compensation lawyer is a strong advocate for injured workers. If you or your loved one was retaliated against for filing for workers’ comp benefits, your rights may have been violated. Get in touch with us by phone at(302) 633-9000 or connect with us online to arrange your no-cost, no-commitment case evaluation. From our office in Wilmington and our office in Sussex County, we handle workers’ compensation claims throughout all of Delaware.