Workers’ compensation allows employees to recover losses related to workplace injuries. It provides a level of protection that ensures that employees can resume their work and maintain their income.
Getting fired while receiving workers’ compensation can raise a number of questions, and many people may believe that their termination is a form of retaliation. Others worry about having to face financial losses in addition to their medical expenses.
The following will help you know what to do if you’re fired while receiving workers’ compensation so that you can have the full protection that you and your family deserve.
Common Issues When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Fear of losing their jobs causes some people to avoid filing a claim. They may use their own health insurance and sick days to recover from an injury.
Doctors are trained to assess injuries and identify those that have occurred in the workplace. This ensures that injury claims are filed when necessary and that employers are held accountable for covering the cost of medical treatments.
Fortunately for employees, employers cannot fire you in response to a workers’ compensation claim. But this doesn’t exclude the possibility of being fired for any other reason during the period in which you’re receiving benefits.
Employers who fire workers receiving compensation benefits must be able to demonstrate that they have a reason for the termination. This protects you from any potential retaliation for filing a claim.
Employers cannot legally fire employees in response to filing for workers’ compensation. Human resource departments and business owners are typically aware of this and won’t tell employees that they’re being fired for that reason.
An action that can be viewed as retaliation towards employees can lead to legal action on the basis of discrimination.
If there are no other reasons to justify a termination, the employer must keep employees until they have been able to fully recover. If a full recovery cannot be achieved, this period will extend until the employee has reached a level of maximum medical improvement.
What to Do If You’re Fired
If you believe that your termination is a result of your compensation claim, you should take the time to collect any information and evidence that can support your case. This includes all correspondence such as emails or letters.
Also, make notes when speaking to individuals over the phone so that you can refer to them later. Getting fired while on workers’ compensation should immediately raise some concern and warrant further investigation.
However, if there is evidence that it isn’t a retaliatory action, then you should take that into consideration. Multiple layoffs and poor performance may indicate that the termination is valid.
Consulting with an experienced attorney helps you determine if your termination is justified or worth taking legal action against. Consider any statutory limitations so that you file any legal actions accordingly.
That’s why it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid missing your opportunity to obtain the full compensation and protection you need to maintain employment while recovering from your injuries.
Understanding the laws related to getting fired while on worker’s compensation is critical to protecting your employment and future income. If you have questions about your workers’ compensation case, contact our office at 404-999-3258.