Maryland Workers’ Compensation Employee Rights Attorney
The rights of employees are often overlooked by employers and their insurance carriers after a workplace accident takes place. Being injured and told that you do not qualify for benefits can feel overwhelming, and feeling a sense of powerlessness is common when up against a large company with a team of lawyers at its disposal—such is always the case when you are at odds with either a large employer or insurance company. Some employers take things a step further and actually retaliate against their employees when they either speak out about unsafe working conditions or file a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to remember that you do have rights, and one of these rights is to be able to file a claim and not fear any type of workplace retaliation. The Maryland workers’ compensation employee attorneys at Frame & Frame are here to help you with your claim.
As an employee, you have certain rights when you are injured on the job, in particular your right to file a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation from your boss. The attorneys at Frame & Frame can help you understand your rights after a workplace injury. More importantly, we can represent you at every stage of your claim, and will work vigorously to protect your rights at every step. See below for more information about some of your rights as an employee under Maryland workers’ compensation law. If you have been retaliated against for making a claim or otherwise denied your rights under the law, call our Maryland employee rights attorneys in Pasadena at 410-255-0373 or in Stevensville at 410-643-2202 for a free case evaluation.
Maryland Law Protects You From Employer Retaliation
Employees are protected under Maryland § 9-1105, which prohibits an employer from discharging an employee simply for filing an injury claim. Anyone who violates this statute is subject to a criminal misdemeanor charge with up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. Employees are also protected against other forms of retaliation, such as:
- Being disciplined;
- Not receiving a planned promotion or pay raise;
- Being given fewer working hours or shifts;
- Having wages, paid time off, or benefits withheld;
- Not being allowed to take sick days, have bathroom breaks, take a lunch break, or other normal workplace rights that your employees have and that you used to have;
- Being transferred or moved to a new undesired position or workspace;
- Being excluded; or
- Hurting the employee’s ability to perform their job or advance their career in any other manner.
Not only are you protected against any undesirable form of retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, but you are also protected during the following circumstances:
- For cooperating in a workers’ compensation investigation, whether it is in regards to your claim or another employee’s claim/accident;
- For cooperating with a federal or state workplace safety investigation;
- For inquiring about workers’ compensation benefits before you have filed a claim;
- For simply getting hurt on the job, even if you have not filed a claim yet; and
- For filing a complaint about workplace safety to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which protects workers under federal law from any type of retaliation, including all of the previously mentioned forms.
Being protected from retaliation means that it is illegal for your employer to punish you in any way for filing a workers’ compensation claim. You cannot be fired, transferred, demoted, disciplined, discriminated against or treated negatively in any way because you filed a claim. This protection from retaliation also includes inquiring about benefits even if you haven’t made a claim, or cooperating with a workers’ comp investigation regarding your claim or a claim filed by another employee.
Right to complain about workplace safety
Workers who file a complaint about workplace safety through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are protected from retaliation. Under federal law, it is illegal for an employer to transfer, demote, fire or otherwise retaliate against a worker for exercising these rights. Employees who believe they have been retaliated against may file a whistleblower complaint.
Right to benefits during vocational rehabilitation
Among the many benefits you may be entitled to as part of Maryland workers’ compensation are medical expenses; lost wages and future earning capacity; mileage, parking and tolls in relation to treatment; and monetary awards for a permanent injury or disability. If you are unable to return to your previous line of work, you are also entitled to vocational rehabilitation, job placement or retaining to help you find another occupation. You have a right to receive benefits, including temporary total disability (TTD), during a period of job search or retraining as part of the vocational rehabilitation process. If your claim of an inability to return to work is contested, you have a right to a hearing before the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), and a right to appeal any decision of the WCC to circuit court. You have the right to be advised and represented by an attorney throughout this process.
Get Help from Experienced and Successful Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Committed to Your Success
As an injured worker, you have the right to receive benefits for medical treatment, wage replacement, travel expenses to and from appointments, and if your condition results in an inability to continue working at your old job, vocational training or job placement benefits, during which you are still eligible to receive temporary total or temporary partial disability. Our attorneys can help you obtain what is owed to you, and fight back against unlawful employer retaliation. Contact the Maryland law offices of Frame & Frame if you have been retaliated against, if your claim was denied, or if you simply have questions about your rights in the workplace.