Articles Posted in Retaliation

New Jersey employees who suffer injuries in the workplace have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. Unfortunately, not all employers respond favorably to claims for benefits, and some terminate injured employees in retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. While generally people fired after being hurt at work can seek recourse via the civil courts, in some instances they may be forced to arbitrate their claims due to contractual agreements with their employers. This was discussed recently by a New Jersey court. If you lost your job after sustaining injuries at work, it is wise to meet with a skillful New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to determine your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a production manager at a facility owned by the defendant, a company that made and sold vegan products. In October 2018, while using a machine designed to mold cookies, the plaintiff severely injured his hand. As such, he filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Less than two weeks after his injury, he was terminated. He then filed a lawsuit in a New Jersey federal court alleging, in part, that he was terminated in retaliation for seeking workers’ compensation benefits, in violation of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act.

Allegedly, the defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims and enforce a provision of an employment agreement that required the plaintiff to arbitrate certain claims. The court ultimately found that the agreement was enforceable and applied to the subject claims, and dismissed the case. Continue Reading ›

Workplace injuries are unfortunately common, but most people that are injured at work can pursue workers’ compensation benefits from their employer. While employees who file workers’ compensation claims are within their rights, some employers perceive such claims as a slight and will take retaliatory action against the employee. Terminating an employee due to a workplace injury is unlawful, though, and employees who are unjustly fired may be owed damages. Recently, a New Jersey court discussed what a plaintiff must allege to proceed on a retaliatory firing claim. If you lost your job after being hurt at work, you may be owed compensation and should speak to a skilled New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney about your options.

Factual Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered multiple work-related injuries while he was employed by the defendant. The injuries occurred in the summer and fall of 2008 and 2011. The plaintiff received workers’ compensation medical benefits for his injuries through April 2014, when it was determined that he could return to his job without any restrictions. The plaintiff returned to work full duty in May 2014. He was fired in July 2015.

Reportedly, the plaintiff asserted that the cause of his termination was due to him being absent due to work-related injuries. He filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he was fired in violation of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing the plaintiff failed to demonstrate a causal link between his firing and his injury. Continue Reading ›

In many instances, when an employee suffers an injury at work, the employer may not want to pay the employee any workers’ compensation benefits. As such, in an attempt to enact revenge or to prevent the employee from filing a claim for benefits, the employer may terminate the employee’s position. Although New Jersey is an at-will employment state, under certain circumstances, it is unlawful for a person to be fired, such as when it is done in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you sustained injuries in a work accident and you were subsequently fired, it is in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injury and Termination

It is alleged that the plaintiff worked for the defendant as a retail sales consultant. In 2015, when the plaintiff was opening the store he worked in, he fell and injured his back, right shoulder and hand. He filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and the defendant indicated it intended to contest the claim. However, the plaintiff’s petition for benefits was granted, and he was on medical leave for approximately nine months.

Reportedly, while the plaintiff was on leave, it was determined that he engaged in a personal purchase that was improper under company policy. When the employee returned from leave, he was terminated. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the defendant violated the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) by firing the plaintiff in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. After discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. Continue Reading ›

Under New Jersey law, employers are required to provide employees that are injured at work with workers’ compensation benefits in most instances. Additionally, employers are prohibited from firing employees for filing workers’ compensation claims. Unfortunately, many employers choose not to abide by the law and will terminate employees for seeking benefits they are entitled to recover. If you were terminated after filing a workers’ compensation claim you might be able to assert additional claims against your employer, and it is in your best interest to speak to a dedicated New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a field account representative for the defendant, which required him to travel extensively. In November of 2016, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident while working, which caused him to sustain significant injuries including herniated discs. As such, he filed a workers’ compensation claim. He then learned from a co-worker that his manager was displeased that the plaintiff hired an attorney to represent him in his workers’ compensation claim.

Allegedly, the plaintiff reported that he was discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim, after which the terms of his employment were changed. He was eventually terminated in November 2018. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant asserting numerous claims, including retaliation in violation of New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss numerous claims asserted by the plaintiff. Continue Reading ›

When a New Jersey employee suffers an injury at work, he or she will often be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. In some instances, however, an employer may terminate an injured employee in an attempt to avoid paying the employee benefits. Employees who are fired following an injury may be able to pursue retaliation claims against their employers. Recently, a New Jersey court explained what an employee must prove to recover under a workers’ compensation retaliation claim in a case in which the employee’s claim was dismissed. If you lost your job following an injury in the workplace, you may be able to pursue claims against your employer and should consult a knowledgeable New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney regarding your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the employee worked as a member of the kitchen crew for the employer, a college in New Jersey. He typically worked about twenty-five hours per week. In September 2015, he suffered a burn when another employee failed to alert him that he was passing by with a hot pan. He subsequently went to the hospital, where he received a tetanus shot and was released without further treatment. The employee then sought and received workers’ compensation benefits. In December 2015, the employee was advised his hours were being reduced due to decreased enrollment in the college. He was offered additional evening hours but chose not to accept them, and voluntarily ended his employment. He then alleged that he was constructively terminated in retaliation for his workers’ compensation claim, and filed a lawsuit against the employer alleging relation and other claims. The employer filed a motion for summary judgment as to the retaliation claim, which the trial court granted. The employee then appealed.

Elements of a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claim

The New Jersey Workers’ Law prohibits employers from taking adverse action against employees who pursue workers’ compensation benefits for injuries incurred at work. An employee alleging that he or she was fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim must show that he or she made or attempted to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and that he or she was either actually or constructively discharged in retaliation for making a claim. Continue Reading ›

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