Your employer is not legally allowed to discriminate or retaliate against you for filing a workplace injury claim, saying that you are going to file a claim, or for seeking all of the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled under Washington State law.
Examples of discrimination or retaliation by an employer may include:
- Firing you or laying you off
- Demoting you or assigning you to an undesirable shift
- Denying you a promotion
- Reducing your wages or benefits
- Refusing to adjust your job duties to meet the light-duty restrictions ordered by your doctor
However, if the employee has failed to learn and follow safety or health rules, not followed the employer’s policies, or has suffered numerous on-the-job injuries, the above actions may or may not be considered employer discrimination under Washington State law.
Protection from Employer Discrimination
If you are unsure and need to determine whether or not your employer’s actions are considered to be discriminatory, contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney immediately.
If you believe you have been discriminated against after filing a workplace injury claim, you may obtain a complaint form online at www.LNI.wa.gov/forms/pdf/262009af.pdf or from your local L&I office. Complaints are also accepted in written form, although forms are encouraged because they make it clear what pertinent information is needed. You can mail your completed complaint form to: Department of Labor & Industries, P.O. Box 44277, Olympia, WA 98504-4277. Customer service representatives, claim managers, or any representative of the Department of L&I also accepts forms.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
While employers are required by Washington State to comply with Workers’ Compensation and allow workers to file claims, some employers retaliate against injured employees for pursuing Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers have the right to bring a lawsuit against employers who engage in forms of illegal retaliatory action. A knowledgeable Seattle workers’ Compensation attorney can help guide you through this process.