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Can I Be Fired For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim In New Jersey?

An attorney defending his client from being getting fired in a courtroom.

Answer: No, under New Jersey law, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims.

If you’ve been injured on the job you can file a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation from your employer in NJ.

Understanding Your Legal Rights

As an employee in New Jersey, you have legal rights that protect you from retaliation or wrongful termination by your employer if you file a workers’ compensation claim.

Understanding these rights is essential to protecting yourself and ensuring that you are treated fairly in the workplace.

New Jersey’s Anti-Retaliation Laws

Under New Jersey law, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who engage in protected activities, such as filing a workers’ compensation claim.

This means that if you file a claim, your employer cannot take any adverse actions against you in response wrongful termination claim.

New Jersey has several anti-retaliation laws that protect workers who engage in protected activities, including the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).

CEPA protects employees who report illegal or unethical activities by their employers from retaliation.

NJLAD prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who engage in protected activities, including filing a workers’ compensation claim for disability discrimination.

What Constitutes Retaliation?

Retaliation can take many forms, and it’s important to be able to recognize the signs.

Retaliation can include sudden changes in job duties or work schedule, negative treatment from coworkers or supervisors, or exclusion from company events or activities.

If you experience any of these behaviors, it’s important to document them and seek legal advice.

Proving Retaliation

If you experience retaliation, you have legal options.

To prove retaliation, in workers’ compensation claims, you’ll need to show that you engaged in protected activity, that you suffered an adverse employment action, and that there is a causal connection between the two.

This can be challenging, and it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Employer Liability for Retaliation

Employers who retaliate against employees for engaging in protected activities can be held liable under New Jersey law.

If you prevail in a retaliation claim, you may be entitled to damages, including back pay, front pay, and compensatory and punitive damages.

However, it’s important to remember that retaliation claims can be complex, and it’s always best to seek legal advice before taking action.

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Workers Compensation benefits

If you’re injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness in New Jersey, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

These benefits can help cover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury or illness.

Medical Benefits

Under New Jersey law, workers’ compensation benefits must cover the reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your work-related injury or illness.

This for medical bills includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and prescription medications.

Lost Wages

If your work-related injury or illness prevents you from working, you may claim workers compensation benefits and be entitled to lost wages.

Workers’ compensation benefits can provide partial replacement of your wages lost, depending on the severity of your injury and the length of time you are unable to work.

Other Benefits

In addition, workers’ comp benefits in New Jersey can also include vocational rehabilitation services, which can help you return to work or find a new job if you have work injury and are unable to return to your previous position.

Protecting Yourself in the Workplace

While New- Jersey’s workers compensation law law provides strong protections against retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim, it’s always best to avoid retaliation in the first place. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself in the workplace:

Report Injuries Promptly

If you are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness, report it to your employer as soon as possible.

Failure to report your injury or illness promptly may cause your employer to question the validity of your claim, which could lead to retaliation.

Keep Detailed Records

Keep detailed records of your work-related injuries, including when and how they occurred, the symptoms you experienced, and the medical treatment you received.

Be sure to document any conversations you have with your employer or coworkers regarding your injuries.

File a Workers’ Comp Claim

If you are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness, you may be among injured workers entitled to workers’ comp benefits.

File a claim as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and avoid retaliation.

Seek Legal Advice

If you have concerns about filing a workers’ comp claim or fear retaliation from your employer, seek legal advice from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

They can help you understand your legal rights and options, and can represent you in any legal proceedings.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any changes in your work environment, such as sudden changes in job duties or work schedule, negative treatment from coworkers or supervisors, or exclusion from company events or activities.

If you experience any of these behaviors, document them and seek legal advice.

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What to Do if You Experience Retaliation

If you experience retaliation from your employer for filing a workers’ comp claim, it’s important to take action to protect yourself and your legal rights.

Here are some steps you can take:

Document the Retaliation

The first step is to document the retaliation.

Write down the date, time, and details of any adverse employment actions you experience, including any sudden changes in job duties or work schedule, negative treatment from coworkers or supervisors, or exclusion from company events or activities.

Keep copies of any relevant documents or communications, such as emails or memos.

Report the Retaliation

If you feel comfortable doing so, report the retaliation to your employer’s human resources department or a supervisor.

Be sure to document your report and any response you receive.

Seek Legal Advice

It’s important to seek legal advice receiving workers compensation, if you experience retaliation.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can represent you in any legal proceedings.

They can also advise you on how to proceed if you believe you have a retaliation claim.

File a Retaliation Claim

If you believe you have been retaliated against, you may be able to file a retaliation claim under New Jersey workers’ law.

To prove retaliation, you’ll need to show that you engaged in protected activity, that you suffered an adverse employment action, and that there is a causal connection between the two.

A workers’ compensation attorney can help you file a claim and represent you in any legal proceedings.

Protect Your Mental Health

Experiencing retaliation can be stressful and emotionally challenging.

It’s important to prioritize your mental health and seek support if you need it.

This may include talking to a therapist or counselor, joining a support group, or seeking other resources for mental health support.

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Conclusion

Understanding your legal rights as an employee in New Jersey is essential to protecting yourself from retaliation by your employer.

By staying informed and taking steps to protect yourself, you can help ensure that you are treated fairly and justly in the workplace, whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or dealing with retaliation.

By documenting any retaliation, reporting it to your employer, seeking legal advice, filing a workers comp or retaliation claim if necessary, and prioritizing your mental health, you can help protect yourself from retaliation and other forms of mistreatment in the workplace.

Remember that if you experience retaliation, you have legal options and protections under New Jersey law.

It’s important to seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney if you have concerns or believe that you have been retaliated against.

By working with an attorney, you can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation and benefits to which you are entitled.

In the end, by taking steps to protect yourself and your legal rights, you can help ensure that you are treated fairly and justly in the workplace, no matter what challenges you may face.

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