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When an Employer Retaliates Against You for Filing a Benefit Claim

Employer-provided benefits help to ensure your family’s continued financial security. They protect you when unexpected events occur and provide you with an income once you reach retirement age. While employers offer these benefits in part to attract workers, they can react badly when it comes time for you to file a claim. In an effort to keep you from collecting the benefits you earned, it is not uncommon for them to take some type of adverse action against you. This is known as retaliation, and it is a violation of federal law.  

When Employers Retaliate Against Workers Who File Claims

Offering health insurance, life insurance, short or long term disability insurance, retirement accounts, tuition reimbursement, reimbursement for child care expenses, and other types of employer-provided benefits helps employers attract the best workers. According to Forbes, these benefits make up a significant portion of your overall compensation package, representing nearly 40% of employer costs. 

When it comes time for employees to cash in on these benefits, it drives up employer expenses even further. For this reason, employers may try and discourage you from filing a claim and may even take adverse action against you if you persist. This is known as retaliation, and it is a common problem. Examples of employee-benefit related retaliation include: 

  • Reclassifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying health insurance or other types of benefits;
  • Demoting or firing employees who suffer serious injuries, chronic health conditions, or illnesses to avoid increases in group policy premiums;
  • Closing a company or plant just before workers are vested in stock sharing or pension benefits;
  • Finding reasons to fire terminally ill workers or otherwise cancel their benefits to avoid paying life insurance to their family. 

Protection Against Retaliation on the Job

Retaliation is a form of discrimination. There are numerous state and federal laws that defend workers against adverse actions on the part of employers based on factors such as their age, gender, or disability. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 protects workers against actions employers take that are meant to rob them of job-related benefits. 

Filing an ERISA claim can help ensure you receive the benefits you deserve and may provide additional compensation to workers in certain situations. To prove your employer engaged in this type of illegal conduct, you need an experienced ERISA lawyer on your side. 

Contact Our Chicago ERISA Lawyer Today

At Bartolic Law, we take the legal actions needed to protect your rights to employer-provided benefits. To discuss your case, contact our Chicago ERISA lawyer and request a consultation today.  

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