CAN I Be Blacklisted If I File a Personal Injury Claim?
Many maritime workers lose out on their opportunity to be fairly compensated because of fear that their employer will either fire them or blacklist them from future employment. This fear has financially benefited the maritime industry for years and since the industry has stymied safety precautions, safety has not improved at the same rate as their onshore industry counterparts.
However, the fact is that if you have suffered a maritime injury the laws are geared to protect you and are some of the strongest anti-retaliatory laws in the country.
If you suffered a maritime injury and you’re facing either a short term recovery or a life altering injury, a claim can secure your livelihood and future. With the experience of Leeward Law you can trust that we’ll fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
IF YOU HAVE SUFFERED A MARITIME INJURY
THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE
If you were injured on board a vessel or at a maritime facility there are two main acts that provide you the right to compensation and protect you from any employer retaliation.
Whether you're a seaman covered under the Jones Act or a maritime worker covered under the LHWCA, you have several rights afforded to you when you are injured.
Maintenance: daily living expenses such as meals and room and board.
Cure: medical costs associated with your necessary recovery.
Freedom to choose your own doctor.
You cannot be fired for filing a personal injury claim.
IF YOU FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
EMPLOYER RETALIATION IS ILLEGAL
Whether you're a seaman covered under the Jones Act or a maritime worker covered under the LHWCA, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for filing a personal injury suit. It is also illegal for your employer to intimidate you into not filing a suit for compensation the law affords you.
If you have been fired for filing a personal injury claim or you feel that your employer has intimidated you into not filing a personal injury claim contact an experienced maritime attorney. Leeward Law will get you the compensation you are owed and more.
IN MOST EVERY STATE EMPLOYER
“BLACKLISTING” IS ILLEGAL
It is understandable to fear that your employer will “blacklist” you. Leeward Law knows that the maritime industry is small and it can sometimes feel like everyone knows each other’s business. No one wants the reputation of being the employee who “causes trouble” or is “difficult to deal with.”
However, almost every state in the United States has laws on the books that forbid an employer from “blacklisting” you. Blacklisting used to be common in the maritime industry. The idea was that many people wanted jobs and they could either sue when they were hurt or would not have work waiting for them when they recovered. This saved the maritime industry billions by intimidating persons not to bring suit in fear they would lose their job. However, even though the laws have been rewritten, that fear still persists.
Blacklisting laws in almost every state make it illegal for an employer to:
maintain a physical blacklist;
discuss the fact that you filed a personal injury claim with a subsequent prospective employer;
interfere with your ability to find subsequent work by discussing the fact you may have filed a suit with members of the industry.
Remember, blacklisting is illegal. If you feel your employer has targeted you contact an experienced maritime attorney. Leeward Law will get you the compensation you are owed and more!
NOT FILING A SUIT PUTS YOU AT RISK
Staying silent puts your health, your colleagues and your future at risk.
All maritime employers likely require a physical before you begin work. If you are not 100% recovered from a previous injury you may fail your physical with a new employer and be out of work.
Takeaway: A claim can get you compensation and more, securing you a future if you are not able to work in the maritime industry again after you’ve been injured.
If your injury was caused by the negligence of your employer and you do not file a claim, there is very little incentive for your employer to correct the underlying issue. This means that if you do not file a claim, your colleague, possibly your friend, can suffer the same injury because the issue was not addressed.
Takeaway: Filing a suit helps to improve workplace safety.
If your employer dismisses even the smallest injury, that injury could get worse and develop into a much more serious issue down the road. If you have been injured you need a doctor of your own choosing to evaluate your injury, not the company’s doctor.
Takeaway: Filing can help you get the full time needed to recover and to get paid for days you were unable to work.
If you have contemplated filing a personal injury claim but are afraid of your employer retaliating against you, contact an experienced maritime injury attorney at Leeward Law. We will fight hard for your rights and get you the justice and compensation you deserve.