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Understanding The Difference Between Employment Law And Workers’ Compensation

People commonly confuse employment law and workers’ compensation, thinking that they are one and the same. In fact, however, employment law encompasses a variety of different legal issues related to the workplace whereas workers’ compensation only deals with on-the-job injuries. Although workers’ compensation cases fall under the much larger umbrella of employment law, they are two distinct issues.

In order to better understand the difference, it is helpful to take a closer look at employment law. This branch of the law deals with any legal issues that arise between an employer and an employee. Here are some of the most common complaints or issues that fall under this area of the law:

  1. Workplace discrimination. Employers are forbidden by the law from discriminating against people based on a variety of different factors including their age, gender, race, religion, or any disabilities that they may have.


  1. Wrongful termination. In most states, employers can’t just fire their employees at will. Instead, they have to have a just reason for letting them go. For instance, your boss can’t fire you for getting pregnant. They also can’t fire you if you file a complaint against the company or against a fellow employee. Interestingly, you also can’t be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

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  1. Employer retaliation. An employer is prohibited from retaliating against employees in certain situations. Not only does this mean that they can’t fire them, but they also can’t treat them any differently in the workplace. For instance, if someone files a sexual harassment claim against the company, the employer can’t retaliate against them by lowering their pay, demoting them to a lesser position, or unfairly cutting their hours. In essence, they can’t treat them differently than any other employee just because they have taken action against the company.


  1. An unsafe work environment. Employers are required to provide their employees with safe working conditions. If they fail to do so, employees can work with a lawyer to make sure that any safety issues are corrected.

These are just a few of the issues that fall under the broad category of employment law. Workers’ compensation also fits within this category. If an employee is injured on the job, they can file a workers’ compensation claim to reimburse them for the cost of their injury. Workers’ compensation benefits cover everything from medical expenses to lost wages.

In order to file a workers’ compensation claim, the employee has to have either been injured on the job or has to have developed an illness or injury that was caused by the work that they were doing. For instance, if an employee develops a repetitive strain injury that is directly related to their job, they can file a workers’ compensation claim.

Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of the difference between employment law and workers’ compensation. Employment law is a broad category that encompasses a variety of different legal issues that occur between employers and employees. Workers’ compensation is just one issue among many that fall under this branch of the law. Whatever problem you have at your workplace, don not hesitate to reach out to and discuss with employment lawyer Sydney.

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