Delaware is unique in that it provides protection for employees that are both directly and indirectly involved in workers’ compensation proceedings. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for taking or attempting to take workers’ compensation benefits. Under these circumstances, retaliation or discrimination can be terminating, demoting, transferring, or otherwise harassing or punishing the employee.
Similarly, employees who are witnesses – but did not actually apply for or receive workers’ compensation benefits – are protected. If these employees choose to testify concerning another employee’s attempt to receive workers’ compensation benefits, they too are protected from retaliation and discrimination.
While most workers’ compensation claims are brought before an administrative agency, a claim for workers’ compensation retaliation or discrimination is brought in the Delaware Superior Court. An employee may be entitled to his or her job back, and further, may have a right to significant financial compensation. Further, and like many employment-related legal claims, the victim of workers’ compensation retaliation can collect his or her attorneys’ fees from the employer, providing significant leverage in favor of the employee.
Proving retaliation can be difficult, especially where an employer contrives reasons other than the employee receiving workers’ compensation benefits as its purported reason for terminating or demoting the employee. Contact us to for a case evaluation: