One of the benefits of workers’ compensation is the ability to still take in an income while you’re recovering from your injury. The injury must be related to your employment, and your employer must hold workers’ compensation insurance if you plan to utilize the benefit, but many employers are required to do so. If you’re out of work while recovering with workers’ compensation benefits and you receive notice your employment has been terminated, what can you do?
Find Out Why
Your employer cannot fire you in retaliation to you filing the workers’ compensation claim. It’s illegal and can land you in the middle of a lawsuit seeking compensation. If there’s another reason for the termination, you may not be able to do anything about it. Some legal reasons your employer might fire you while you’re out on workers’ compensation could include:
- A previous intention to fire you. Perhaps your employer was planning to speak with you the very day you received the injury. If he or she had a previous intention to fire you for unrelated reasons, it could be legal for him or her to fire you while you’re recovering from your injury.
- You broke the rules, which resulted in your injury. Many workplace injuries are true accidents and will not result in an employer being angry with the individual who was hurt. There are other cases in which the injured individual broke the rules and was injured as a result. If you would normally be fired for doing what you did to cause your injuries, you could get fired while you’re recovering. This might include horseplay, ignoring safety protocols and other similar situations.
- A legitimate company downsizing. Perhaps your company is downsizing and has to fire a handful of employees. If your work history has been examined as fairly as your coworkers, and your employer determines your work performance just hasn’t met the mark, there’s a chance he or she could legally fire you.
File a Lawsuit
If your job termination was a legitimate and legal reason, there may be nothing you can do about it. If you feel it was retaliation for filing your workers’ compensation claim, you could file a lawsuit against the employer. There is a statute of limitations for which you have to file the suit, so be sure you get started as soon as possible.
Calling a Lawyer