Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Being on workers’ compensation does not protect an individual from being fired or laid off. If an employer is laying off a large number of people or was already planning on firing you due to poor performance, he is completely within his rights to fire you while you are on workers’ comp. There are hundreds of reasons an employer can use to legally fire you while you are on workers’ compensation, especially if you are an at-will employee.
However, there is one exception. Your employer is not allowed to fire you because you applied for, or are on, workers’ compensation. This is called retaliatory termination and is against the law. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to prove the exact reason why you were fired, and your employer will most likely not admit that workers compensation was the reason. If you suspect you were fired because of a workers compensation claim, you should contact an attorney immediately. You will have to find solid evidence that the termination was retaliatory. If your employer has another reason that was stated publicly, try to collect documentation or evidence that demonstrates why that reason is unconvincing.
Can I Be Fired If My Injury Gives Me a Disability?
If your disability makes it impossible for you to do your job, then your employer will have the right to fire you. This can apply to many types of jobs, but especially to jobs that are physically demanding or require you to be physically active. If you are no longer able to do your job, your employer does not have to continue employing you. However, if you can still do your job, but will need reasonable accommodations due to your disability, your employer cannot fire you because of your disability. In this case, firing you would be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you were fired because of your disability and you still were physically able to perform your job, you should get in touch with an attorney right away. This is an example of workplace discrimination, and you can bring a lawsuit against your employer.
Will My Workers Comp End When I’m Fired?
Regardless of the reason why you were fired, the good news is that your workers’ compensation will not end, even if you are fired. You will continue to receive benefits until you have recovered or reached Maximum Medical Improvement.
Applying for Workers’ Comp
Although being fired because of a workers’ compensation claim is unusual, many fear losing their jobs. Because of that fear, some workers are reluctant to make a claim and instead use their own health insurance or avoid getting any treatment at all. As an employee, you are entitled to your employer’s workers’ compensation, and you should not be afraid of taking advantage of that right.
At Bighorn Law, we are committed to helping you get the workers compensation you deserve. If, during the process, you are a victim of a retaliatory termination, we will take a look at the situation and tell you what legal remedies are available.