What tactics do employers use to make life miserable for injured workers? A man who suffered a severe shoulder injury dramatically reminded me of this frequent question when he described what happened when he did not notify his employer of the injury immediately because he thought it would go away. When his pain persisted for 7 days, he realized that something was seriously wrong. He reported the injury to his employer, who promptly fired him, claiming that his failure to report the injury immediately was a “violation of safety rules.”
Their action, of course, was completely illegal. Under Pennsylvania law, you have the right to report a work injury for up to 120 days from the date of injury. Furthermore, you have rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Finally, because employers do not have the right to retaliate against an employee for exercising rights under the Workers' Compensation Act, such an obnoxious firing would almost certainly give rise to a lawsuit against the employer for discrimination. Schick v. Shirey, 716 A.2d 1231 (Pa. 1998); Rothrock v. Rothrock Motor Sales, Inc., 883 A.2d 511 (Pa. 2005). For an overview of the “Seven Ugliest Tactics Employers Use to Harass Injured Workers,” click here.