After filing a worker’s compensation claim, depending on the severity or nature of your injury, you may find that your job changes a little bit. One of the most common changes comes in the form of how much you work, or your work hours. Sometimes your employee will inform you that you will have reduced hours and other times you find out only after the next schedule is posted. However, while this may concern you, especially if you need every penny of your normal paycheck, sometimes it is merited. However, other times you may be able to claim retaliation for cut work hours.
When Your Employer Is Allowed to Cut Your Hours
If you work only part-time, you should expect your hours to be cut at some point regardless of your injury. It is something that employers do frequently to their part-time workers to cut down on their own costs. While it might be suspicious after your worker’s compensation claim, they are within their rights to cut down the hours of the part-timer. If your hours have been cut, especially if other part-timers have had their hours cut as well, it is probably not retaliation, but a cost-cutting measure. This is usually more common at the end of a fiscal quarter as well.
Furthermore, your hours may be cut if your doctor has recommended it. If your doctor said you should only work about four hours a day, don’t be surprised if your overall hours for the week get cut. Furthermore, you will want them to cut your hours as well. If your claim is still being sorted out, if your doctor recommends you only work four hours a day and you are working a full eight hours, it looks like your injury is not as serious as you are saying.
If your worker’s compensation claim is not finalized, you will want your hours to be cut if your doctor has given you restrictions just to make sure you get your full compensation. Yet, this doesn’t mean you should always accept having your hours cut as something that is acceptable. Sometimes there may be reasonable explanations for it, other times, it may be considered retaliation.
When Having Your Hours Cut is Retaliation
Under worker’s compensation law, employers are forbidden from any retaliatory action because you filed a worker’s compensation claim. This includes firing and cutting your hours. However, the tricky part is that they can still fire you and cut your hours for reasons outside of a worker’s compensation claim such as poor worker performance or tardiness.
Cutting your hours may be because your employer wants to give you rest so you can heal. However, even if it is done in good faith, if you are cleared for work, they can’t technically bar you from working the hours you are entitled to. Furthermore, when discovering retaliatory action, usually it is not just one action. You may find your hours are cut, you are given different and usually more undesirable work, and find your supervisor less than respectful in the way they treat you.
If you are noticing a series of behavior that could be retaliatory after your worker’s compensation claim, it is important that you contact a lawyer to see if action can be taken. Retaliation claims can be tricky, but if you can prove that an action was solely aimed at you after a worker’s compensation claim, you can pursue a retaliation lawsuit. If you are suffering at your job after a worker’s compensation claim or need help with the worker’s compensation process, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Joshua Borken can do for you.