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Illegal for Employer to Retaliate for Workers' Compensation Claims

Worker's Compensation:

Former Newark Housing Authority Employee Claims Employer Caused Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Michael Gorny, Esq.

In a federal lawsuit filed In March of 2015, former NHA employee Cheryl Goins claims, among other things, that her supervisors retaliated against her for refusing to participate in illegal activity.  She also claims that she was forced to work in a building that aggravated her asthma.  When she attempted to file a worker’s compensation claim for her injuries and missed time from work, she was not only denied benefits, but retaliated for attempting to receive those benefits.

While the validity of these claims are uncertain, it reveals an important aspect of New Jersey workers’ compensation.  Injured employees often fear retribution from their employers for seeking workers’ compensation benefits.  The consequence for retaliating against a worker for filing a claim exposes the employer to a lawsuit and even criminal charges. The statute, N.J.S.A. 34:15-39.1 states,

“It shall be unlawful for any employer or his duly authorized agent to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee as to his employment because such employee has claimed or attempted to claim workmen’s compensation benefits from such employer, or because he has testified, or is about to testify, in any proceeding under the chapter to which this act is a supplement. For any violation of this act, the employer or agent shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 60 days or both. Any employee so discriminated against shall be restored to his employment and shall be compensated by his employer for any loss of wages arising out of such discrimination; provided, if such employee shall cease to be qualified to perform the duties of his employment he shall not be entitled to such restoration and compensation.”

 If you believe you have a valid workers’ compensation claim or that you are being retaliated against by your employer for claiming such benefits, it is important that you contact a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation attorney, Michael Gorny, Exq. Who is experienced in handling such matters.

Call today 800-709-1131