Can you be fired while on workers’ compensation?
When an employee is on workers’ compensation, many worry about the possibility of losing their employment. Can an employer fire you while you are on workers’ compensation? Unfortunately, they can. As an employee, you are not protected against being terminated or laid off simply because they are on workers’ compensation.
An employer is within their rights to fire an employee who is on workers’ compensation if they were already planning to fire the employee due to poor performance. In fact, there are hundreds of legal reasons an at-will employee may be fired without legal repercussions for the employer, even if the employee is on workers’ compensation.
There is only one reason employers may not use as the basis for legally terminating employment: because you applied for or are on workers’ compensation. This situation is called retaliatory termination and is illegal. In many situations, it can be difficult to pinpoint and prove the exact reason behind employment termination. The vast majority of employers will not admit that they fired an employee because they applied for or were on workers’ compensation.
The safest thing for an employee to do if they suspect they have been fired because they applied for or are on workers’ compensation is to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will help you seek out solid evidence that the loss of employment was due to your workers’ comp claim and that it was, in fact, a retaliatory termination. Many employers will state another reason for the termination publicly and employees seeking resolution greatly appreciate the assistance of an experienced attorney in seeking out the documentation or other evidence indicating that the “publicly stated” reason is false.
Other Common Questions Related to Workers’ Compensation:
If my original injury leads to a disability can I be fired from my job? If the disability makes it impossible for you to complete your job duties, your employer is within their rights to end your employment. You may, however, request reasonable accommodations if their availability would make it possible for you to continue in your current position. If an employer refuses to provide reasonable accommodations for a disability, this is called workplace discrimination and you should discuss your options with an experienced attorney.
Does my workers’ comp end if I am fired? Regardless of whether you are fired or not, workers’ compensation does not end. Benefits will continue until you have recovered (or reached Maximum Medical Improvement).
If you are having difficulty on the job or have lost your job due to a workers’ compensation claim, we can help. Feel free to get in touch with one of the experienced attorneys at Stanley-Wallace Law.