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Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas

OSHA Helps Virginia Workers Feel Safe to File Workers' Comp Claims

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Given the turmoil the economy has experienced the last several years, more and more people worry about losing their job. For many, even though they might not have the job of their dreams, the job they have keeps the bills paid.

Workers’ compensation is intended to help individuals who are injured on the job and must lose time from work while they recover. Unfortunately, some employees are afraid to file a workers’ compensation claim for fear that they will lose their job. To help keep this from happening, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) created a program called the Whistleblower Protection Program.

The intent is to stop an employer from punishing or reprimanding an employee if the employee files a workers’ compensation claim or reports a safety violation in the workplace. The program enforces the provisions of more than 20 whistleblower laws. As such, employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who reports a violation or files a workers’ compensation claim. Employers cannot:

  • Fire or lay off the employee
  • Deny the employee a promotion if one is deserved or owed
  • Demote or blacklist the employee
  • Denying employee benefits
  • Refuse to hire or rehire the employee
  • Reassign the employee in a way that affects the potential for promotion
  • Reduce the employee’s pay or hours
  • Bring disciplinary actions against the employee
  • Threaten or intimidate the employee

If an employer decides to take an adverse action against the employee, the employee has 30 days to file a complaint with OSHA.

If you’ve been injured at work and need to file a Virginia workers’ compensation claim to help get you through the time that you are unable to work, the attorneys at Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas are here to help you. Contact our office nearest you today.

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