Can a Job Fire You While on Workers’ Comp? Knowing Your Rights in the Workplace
The worry that they would lose their jobs is one of the main reasons many people choose not to file workers' compensation claims. Employees frequently use their health insurance for medical appointments instead of filing for workers' compensation.
An employee cannot be fired solely because of a workers' compensation claim. Even though the employer can let them go while it is pending, they must demonstrate that other factors influenced the termination or layoff.
The Employee Should Not Face Retaliation for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Working "at will" means either party may terminate the employment at any moment, for any reason, or none. However, the employer is not permitted to fire the employee due to prejudice or retaliation.
The Employee Can Be Fired but for Other Reasons
An injury or workers' compensation claim may not be why an employer terminates a contract.
The employer can fire the employee where they can prove that the employee broke specific rules before getting hurt. In this example, the employer can show evidence of lateness, absenteeism, mistakes, or inability to meet deadlines.
Getting fired while receiving workers' compensation does not make the employee ineligible. They can continue to receive payment until a doctor proves they have fully recovered or can resume work. In some cases, workers comp claims can get investigated. It is very important to know what questions workers comp investigators ask.
Employees in such situations should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to help them understand what they can do to protect their rights. They can also help them receive maximum compensation for their injuries.
Our Columbus workmans compensation law firm has provided the necessary guidance to many workers who felt they got fired for filing a workers' compensation claim. We have won millions in claims against employers and insurers in Ohio. Call us at (614) 820-1855 for a free consultation.
Getting Fired for Inability to Perform
At the point of maximal medical improvement, an injured person stops healing. Even though they might be able to work again, the injury might have long-term impairments that prevent them from performing as well as before.
To prevent future damage, the doctor may place limitations on their activities or recommend modifications so that they can work without undue difficulty or discomfort. Also learn about independent medical examinations (IME) and what you should not say at IME.
A doctor might advise the employee to get an ergonomic chair to help them to use their computer without hurting their back. By requesting a reasonable accommodation, the law obligates the employer to do it so the employee can do their job.
Even with this, some tasks are too physically taxing. It might be impossible for the employee that suffered a neurological injury to do their job if it entails handling a machine that demands both hands. The damage severely limits their ability to use one hand. An employer may have to let them go in such a circumstance.
Even though it can seem unjust, the business must continue operations. It is not obligated to keep the person on the payroll if they can't fulfill their duties.
The Employee Can Switch Roles
An employer might offer a new position to the injured worker to enable them to continue working for the firm and earn a consistent income. It could be a job containing some of the employee's previous duties or a completely different role.
Although the new position might not be as physically taxing, it is highly probable to pay less. However, this is not obligatory. It is a compromise between the employer and the employee to establish fairness.
Consider a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
An employee is eligible for workers' compensation to help pay for their medical bills and some lost wages due to an injury at work. Many get confused and anxious in such a situation because state laws differ.
A lawyer with experience handling such issues can explain the pertinent statutes and how they might affect a case. The U.S. Department of Labor lists the workers' compensation administrations within every state.
Employees should not let the fear of retaliation from an employer prevent them from filing a workers' compensation claim. They can sue for discrimination or retaliation if they have evidence that the contract termination relates to a workers' compensation claim.
The lawsuit can still be successful if the termination is also for another reason unrelated to job performance.
Larrimer & Larrimer offers a free consultation to workers on the actions available to them in such a situation. We can represent employees in court in a lawsuit against their employers.
Call us at (614) 820-1855 to speak to our reliable attorneys or visit any of our offices in Ohio.