When it comes to on-the-job injuries, it is often complicated to understand the needs and rights of every party involved, and which the law favors if they conflict.
If you suffered and on-the-job injury, and then your employer let you go after you filed your workers’ compensation claim, you should absolutely seek professional counsel from an experienced attorney. Proper legal guidance can help you understand the nuances of workers’ compensation law and can keep your rights protected.
In most cases, employers are not permitted to fire employees subsequent to the employee filing a workers’ compensation claim, but the central question here does not have a “yes” or “no” answer.
Retaliatory firings are illegal
The first thing you must consider in your case is whether or not the termination was because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. Employees may not fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, because this constitutes discrimination.
Some employers choose to do so out of ignorance of the law, which is inexcusable, or because they believe they can get away with it, which is repulsive.
If you believe that your firing was retaliatory, be sure to seek out high-quality legal counsel that can help you build a strong discrimination case and seek appropriate damages.
However, not all of these kinds of situations are legitimately retaliatory, and require a more nuanced approach when you seek fair compensation for your injury.
Employers may terminate an injured employee under certain circumstances
The law also recognizes that, in some cases, it is not reasonable to require an employer to retain a permanently injured employee indefinitely. In some specific cases, the employer may terminate an injured employee legally.
Your employer may legally terminate you if your injury is so severe that you are permanently disabled and will not ever perform your job again, or perform it in the foreseeable future. However, this ability does not relieve the employer of its duty to fairly compensate you for your losses.
Also, the employer will almost always try to find a different position that you are capable of filling, since this is both more fair to you and usually less costly to the employer.
So, yes, it is possible for your employer to terminate you after an on-the-job injury, but the burden of proof rests heavily on the employer, and generally will entail substantial compensation for you.
Build a strong team for strong results
These kinds of situations can be stressful and are rarely simple. No matter what the nature of your termination, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. You also deserve to have your claim professionally examined to determine the strongest strategy to fight for justice and protect your rights.