The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who seek workers’ compensation benefits in the form of adverse employment action. As such, employers that violate the retaliation provision may be civilly liable to the employee for damages. As shown in a recent Massachusetts ruling, in order to prove that an employer’s acts were taken in retaliation, an employee must establish that the employer knew about the employee’s workers’ compensation claim. If you sustained harm while working, you might be able to file a workers’ compensation claim, and it is wise to consult a Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer to assess what benefits you could be owed.
History of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff worked for the defendant from 2003 through 2018 when he was terminated for theft. In 2007, he suffered injuries in a car accident that occurred when he was traveling from one of the defendant’s stores to another. He filed a workers’ compensation claim for injuries sustained in the accident and took a leave of absence. After the plaintiff was terminated, he filed a pro se action against the defendant asserting, among other things, a workers’ compensation retaliation claim. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s retaliation claim.
Establishing Liability in a Retaliation Claim
The court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation retaliation claim. The court explained that pursuant to the Act, it is illegal for an employer to fire, refuse to hire, or discriminate against an employee in any other way because the employer has filed a workers’ compensation claim or participating in workers’ compensation proceedings. Continue reading →