While many people are surprised by this answer, you can be fired while on workers’ compensation. There aren’t any statues in workers’ compensation claims that keep your job protected with a company after you’ve been injured. Employers have a right to fire you, even if the cause of termination isn’t related to your workers’ compensation claim or your injury. However, there are specific workers’ compensation benefits you can receive after a company doesn’t move forward with employing you.
At Will Employees Fired While on Workers’ Compensation
When you’re an at-will employee, both you and your employer have the right to terminate your working relationship at any time and for any reason, even if there’s no reason at all. Your employer isn’t allowed to fire you while you’re on workers’ compensation due to discrimination or as retaliation for your injury.
If the injury you received while you were working has left you unable to fulfill your work duties for an extended period of time, your employer has a right to fire you. However, there are some additional benefits you can seek out after your termination that you previously weren’t receiving while you were employed with the company.
In addition, the employer can fire you for reasons unrelated to your injury and workers’ compensation claim. Other habits you had while working at the company, like unexcused absences or missing deadlines, creates an opportunity for your employer to fire you with cause.
Most employers are sophisticated enough to find an outside cause to fire you after your injury. If you believe your termination wasn’t lawful, it’s important to reach out to a qualified employment lawyer.
Protection for Union Employees
If you’re a union employee, you may be wondering if there’s additional job protection available for you. As a union employee, there should be a provision in your contract that may protect your position with your employer. To better understand what your rights are while you’re not working due to a workplace injury, talk with your union representative.
Other Benefits Available if You’re Fired While on Workers’ Compensation
Even if you’re let go from your job because of your extended injury, that doesn’t mean your worker’s compensation benefits stop. If your employer chooses to let you go, you’ll have new avenues of workers’ compensation benefits that open up for you. As one example, your qualified rehabilitation consultant will help you look for new jobs if you have a physical limitation, open up options to send you back to school, or offer options to train you in something new.
In addition, you may be eligible for additional wage loss benefits under the workers’ compensation statute. There is a section in the workers’ compensation statute that lists courses of action if you are wrongfully terminated. However, the recommendation is a civil lawsuit, which calls for you to work with an employment attorney.
What to do While You’re Fired While on Workers’ Compensation
If you’re terminated after a workplace injury, it’s vital to reach out to a trained and experienced workplace injury attorney. Your attorney will work with you to determine if the termination was appropriate and they’ll help you to discover the benefits available to you if the termination was lawful.
Here at Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law, we know that not every person who’s on workers’ compensation needs a lawyer. However, we’re here to provide help to the people who do need help discovering the benefits available to them if they’re fired.
If you’ve been fired while on workers’ compensation, contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today to find out what benefits are available to you.