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Can I lose my job for demanding workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Sustaining an injury at work can be a challenging and stressful experience. You may not just be dealing with pain and stress. You can also face medical bills and lost wages. In such situations, workers’ compensation can provide a much-needed lifeline. However, some employees may fear retaliation from their employers for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Establishing workers’ rights

Oregon is an “at-will” employment state. This means employers can generally terminate employees for any reason or no reason at all. However, there are important exceptions to this rule.

A key exception is that it’s illegal for employers to punish employees for exercising their legal rights. This includes filing a workers’ compensation claim. Oregon law explicitly prohibits discrimination or retaliation against workers who apply for benefits. This protection ensures workers can safely report injuries and claim the compensation they’re entitled to without fear of losing their job.

These legal protections extend beyond preventing termination. Employers cannot demote, reduce pay or take any other adverse action against an employee for filing a claim. If an employer violates these protections, they may face civil penalties and be required to reinstate the employee with back pay.

What constitutes retaliation

Retaliation in the workplace can take many forms, some of which may be subtle or disguised as legitimate business decisions. It’s crucial for employees to be vigilant and recognize potential signs of retaliation. Some common forms of retaliation are:

  • Termination
  • Demotion or reduction in responsibilities
  • Pay cuts or loss of benefits
  • Hostile work environment
  • Unfavorable schedule changes
  • Denial of promotion or training opportunities

It’s essential to note that timing is a critical factor in identifying retaliation. If these actions occur shortly after filing a claim, it may suggest a causal link. To protect yourself, document everything related to your claim and any changes in your work situation. Keep copies of all correspondence and other relevant documents. If you suspect retaliation, consider keeping a detailed account of incidents. Note the dates, times, locations and any witnesses present.

Any form of retaliation is illegal. If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may consider consulting with a legal professional. They may help you understand your options, protect your rights and navigate the complex legal landscape.


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Contact The Law Offices of Judy Snyder

4248 Galewood Street
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035

Lake Oswego Office

Local: 503-894-7478
Fax: (971) 277-3894