Can My Employer Fire Me If I am Unable to Work Because of an Injury and I am Receiving WC Benefits?
On Behalf of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa | September 17, 2022 | Workers' Compensation
Getting injured at work can result in costly medical expenses and missed workdays as you heal from your injury. Depending on the nature and extent of your injury, you might be incapable of working for days, weeks, months, or years. It’s natural to be worried about what would happen while you can’t work and upon going back to work. Will you still have a job to go back to? Will your employer replace you? Will you get fired while receiving workers’ compensation benefits and are unable to work?
Fortunately, terminating an employee is unlawful while they’re out of work due to a workplace injury and receiving workers’ comp benefits. This is because employers are legally prohibited from retaliating against employees who sought workers’ comp benefits.
But while your employer can’t terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, they can fire you for different reasons while you still have an open claim. However, if they go down this route, they must demonstrate that they terminated you and that their reason is unrelated to your claim.
Are There Valid Reasons For Firing Employees Who Are Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Provided that you’re employed at will, this means that your employer can legally fire you for any reason or no reason at all. But this also means that you can quit for any reason or no reason. You might also be legally terminated for the following reasons:
- Inadequate or poor job performance
- Company restructuring
- Financial issues within the company that are not related to your performance
- If your job position is no longer needed
These are all perfectly valid reasons that your employer can use to terminate you from your position. But it’s also possible that your employer feels inclined to fire you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. This is obviously illegal, and they will not admit to this.
What Happens If I Get Fired While Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you get fired while receiving workers’ compensation benefits and are unable to go back to work and you suspect that your employer’s main reason is your claim, discuss your case with a Port St. Lucie workers’ compensation attorney right away. You may be able to sue your employer for discrimination based on retaliatory termination.
Retaliatory termination occurs when an employer terminates an employee for bringing a workers’ comp claim or reporting their workplace injury. As mentioned, employers will not readily admit to this and will do all they can to avoid telling you the real reason for your termination because they know that retaliatory termination is grounds for a lawsuit against them.
Consult with a Skilled Port St. Lucie Workers’ Compensation Attorney Now
Being injured and unable to work can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming in many ways. Aside from the cost of your injury and the pain and distress you’re feeling, you may also be worried about the possibility of losing your job. If your employer fired you after you have filed your workers’ compensation claim and you believe that your termination has something to do with your claim, reach out to Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa.
You can learn more about your rights and legal options by discussing your case with our Port St. Lucie workers’ compensation attorney. Contact us online or call 772-249-3776 to set up your free consultation.