Employee Mistreatment Following a Workplace Accident

On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, the Tampa Bay Times published an article that was written by Diane Stafford for the Kansas City Star. The article was entitled, "5 signs your boss is pushing you toward the exit," and this particular article happened to grab our attention.

Have you been mistreated by an employer?

The article began by explaining how when the job market improves, employers are more inclined to let their sub par or irritating workers go, assuming they can acquire better-quality employees. The author stated that she was seeing more information from pollsters and consultants who say that employees need to be made aware if they are being nudged out the door by their employers. According to the article, a June report from Harris Interactive said that 27% of the managers surveyed "have a direct report that they would like to see leave their company." Those managers that were surveyed listed the following red flags:

  • The person's manager is calling attention to more of his or her shortcomings.
  • The employee's responsibilities are reduced, or the employee is not a part of certain meetings or projects.
  • The communication from the manager comes via email, not in person or phone, and the employee is not kept in the loop.
  • A new employee is hired to do the same work as the employee in question.
  • In social workplaces where there are after-work gatherings, the employee is not invited to these gatherings.

At Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law, this article re-posted in the Tampa Bay Times caught our attention because in our practice, we have seen first-hand how often times these signs start to appear after our client reports a workers' compensation injury. We've seen employers reduce our clients' job responsibilities, and we've seen employers allege policy violations. We've seen our clients' hours reduced with no explanation, and we've seen their work environment become hostile due to management.

Under Florida law, your employer cannot terminate you for reporting a workers' compensation injury; however, more and more of our clients are experiencing mistreatment following a workplace accident and at times, even termination. In that circumstance, you may have the legal right to pursue a retaliatory discharge claim. If this has happened to you, please contact Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law for more information about how we might be able to help you.

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