Termination of Employment While On Workers’ Compensation: What Can I Do?

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An employer cannot terminate your employment because you file a workers’ compensation claim. However, your employer can terminate your employment during your workers’ compensation claim. Many employees work “at-will” and can be terminated at any time. In addition, employees can also resign from their job at any time for any reason. The employer also has the right to terminate the employee.

An employer cannot terminate you for filing your workers’ compensation claim. You can be terminated for other reasons, including the following:

  • Any legal reason
  • Company downsizing or restructuring
  • Employer financial issues
  • Inadequate work performance

The employer cannot respond to the filing of your workers’ compensation claim by firing you. But your employer is not obligated to keep you employed indefinitely.

What Happens If I Am Terminated Before I Have Recovered From My Injuries?

The workers’ compensation program provides financial safety for those who suffer bodily injury while at work. If you are terminated while on workers’ compensation, the workers’ compensation program must pay your benefits until you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement. Further physical recovery is not anticipated after this point in time. This principle does not apply if you were terminated for misconduct.

Work Restrictions

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to make reasonable attempts to comply with your physical needs. Employers may need to make accommodations to comply with the ADA. Employers may also be required to offer you a light-duty position featuring less vigorous physical requirements.

An employer may be unable to provide you with work that fits your new restrictions. If this is the case, then you are excused from working, and you would collect 80% of your average weekly wage.

Establishing Retaliation

It is difficult to prove that you were terminated in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. You should gather as much evidence as possible if you think your employer terminated you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. You must document every communication between you and your employer. An experienced attorney at the Law Office of Dan Pruitt can synthesize evidence and provide exceptional legal representation.

Contact The Law Office of Dan Pruitt Today

If you have been terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Dan Pruitt, visit our website or call the office today.

Workers’ Compensation FAQ

Does my employer (or my employer’s workers’ compensation insurance) have to pay for medical treatment even if I did not miss work?

Yes. The availability of medical treatment is not dependent on your ability to work. If your illness or injury arises from your work, you will be eligible for medical treatment. You will not receive temporary disability benefits if your injury or illness does not impair your ability to work.

What are temporary disability benefits?

Temporary disability benefits are payments for lost wages due to a work-related injury or illness. It is intended to be a substitute for lost wages. To be eligible for these benefits, a doctor must state that you either cannot work due to your injury or that your ability to work is limited due to your injury. If your employer cannot offer modified or light-duty work for you, then you are entitled to temporary disability benefits.

If my accident was caused by a third party, what would I be entitled to recover?

If a third party (anyone other than your employer) causes your accident, then you can likely file a lawsuit against that person or entity. You may be able to recover a range of damages, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

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