Some types of work are far more dangerous than other types. People who work in certain fields, such as construction or manufacturing, may suffer multiple on-the-job injuries throughout the course of their careers. An employer may not want to hire someone or may look down upon someone who has a history of filing workers’ compensation claims. For this reason, many employees want to keep this information private. But, is an employer allowed to ask about workers’ compensation claims you’ve filed with other employers?
An Employer’s Right to Access Workers’ Compensation Claims
Employers have every right to ask employees about their history of filing workers’ compensation claims when they were employed elsewhere. If an employer asks you, it’s important to always tell the truth. According to 85A OK Stat § 85A-120, an employer has the right to fire an employee who does not tell the truth about receiving permanent partial disability benefits in the past.
Employers don’t need to ask in order to get this information. They can also request information about an employee’s claims directly from the Workers’ Compensation Commission. All the employer has to do is fill out a form and pay a $1.00 fee to the Workers’ Compensation Fund to access an employee’s record.
When Employers Cannot Access An Employee’s Workers’ Compensation Record
Before gaining access to an employee’s records, an employer must sign an affidavit that they are will not use the employee’s information to violate any state or federal laws. The law prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees who have filed a workers’ compensation claim after an on-the-job injury. Therefore, an employer that signs this affidavit is swearing under the penalty of perjury that they will not use your record to discriminate or retaliate against you.
This means employers cannot treat one of their workers unfavorably because he has filed multiple workers’ compensation claims with other employers. It also means an employee cannot be fired or reassigned to another position because his employer discovers that he has filed claims in the past. Because of these laws, employees should never fear that their history of filing claims will be used against them in the future.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. have represented injured workers since 1983. We pride ourselves on helping injured workers get the benefits they need and defending their rights in the workplace. If you need help with a workers’ compensation claim, call our office at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.