While some workers have no problems reporting workplace injuries to their employer, many injured workers fail to do so. In fact, some reports suggest that as many as two-thirds of work-related injuries and illnesses go unreported. There are a number of reasons why employee do not report injuries. Workers often fear retaliation if they report a safety violation or work injury related to a violation. Studies have indicated that retaliatory fear prompts many workers not to file either OSHA or workers’ comp claims. In a study of OSHA reporting, occupational health providers often reported to workers’ fear of retaliation as a reason for underreporting. Pressure from co-workers also prompts failure to report safety violations and comp claims. Safety incentive programs create incentives not to report, since non-reporting leads to a reward for a work group.
In Nebraska, if your employer terminates your employment because you reported a work-related injury, you may be entitled to additional compensation due to your employer’s retaliatory actions. This type of claim is referred to as a retaliatory discharge claim. Retaliatory discharge claims are considered an exception to Nebraska’s at-will employment doctrine. This is because the Nebraska Supreme Court determined that allowing the type of fear of retaliation for filing a claim discussed in the article below undermined the very important purpose of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, which is to relieve injured workers from the negative economic effects caused by a work-related injury. However, keep in mind, a retaliatory discharge claim requires very specific facts and will not apply to every situation because it is an exception to the rule of at-will employment. In fact, a large amount of potential claims will not fit the criteria needed for a retaliatory discharge claim.
All of these reasons are why it is important to speak with an experienced attorney about your potential case. If you have questions about your care or the loads of paperwork that come with the workers’ compensation process, please give Brock Law Offices a call and one of our experienced lawyers will be happy to speak with you.