“I got hurt at work and they fired me.”
Workers compensation benefits can be awarded to injured workers who experience a workplace injury. However, in some instances, a work related injury may prompt an employer to fire an employee for a work injury so they can evade health insurance premiums, the workers compensation system, and paying medical benefits to injured employees.
Workers compensation issues are best left to an employment law attorney; workplace accident lawyers know the ins and outs of the law and can help injured workers – or fired workers – pursue the justice and compensation they are owed. Here’s what any injured employee should know.
- Document Everything: Make sure you have documentation of your workplace injury, including when and how it occurred, any medical treatment you received, and any communication you had with your employer or supervisor about the incident.
- Review Company Policies: Check your company’s policies regarding workplace injuries, getting injured on the job, workers’ compensation benefits, and the procedures for reporting and handling workers comp.
- Consult Your Employment Contract: If you have an employment contract, review it to understand your legal rights, job protection, and any terms related to workplace injuries, termination, or severance.
- File for Workers’ Compensation: If you were injured at work, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits typically cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages due to the injury. You should file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. It’s also never too early to seek the advice of a workers compensation attorney.
- Understand Anti-Retaliation Laws: Many jurisdictions have laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims or exercise their legal rights related to a workers compensation injury. Firing an employee solely due to their injury or workers’ compensation claim might be considered wrongful termination.
- Gather Evidence: If you suspect that your termination was related to your injury or workers’ compensation claim, or your employer fired you because of a serious medical condition, gather any evidence that supports your case. This could include emails, messages, witness statements, or any other documentation that demonstrates a link between your injury and your termination.
- Consult a Workers Compensation Attorney: If you believe you were fired unfairly due to being injured on the job or because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, it’s a good idea to consult an employment attorney who specializes in workers’ rights and workplace injuries. The attorneys at Lawyers for Justice, PC assess the specifics of your case and provide legal advice on the best course of action.
- File a Complaint: Depending on your jurisdiction, you might be able to file a complaint with a relevant government agency, such as the labor department, that handles issues related to workplace safety, firing employees, and wrongful termination.
- Negotiate: If you have evidence that your termination was related to your injury, you might be able to negotiate with your former employer to resolve the issue. This could involve reinstatement, compensation, or other arrangements. However, getting an employment law firm to negotiate on your behalf is usually the best course of action. Lawyers for Justice, PC offers a free consultation for employees who have been fired after a work injury.
Employment laws can vary greatly depending on your jurisdiction, so it’s crucial to consult with a legal professional who is familiar with the laws in your area.
Can I Sue My Employer For Firing Me For Getting Hurt On The Job?
Whether you can sue your employer for firing you after getting hurt on the job depends on the specific circumstances of your employment state/situation, as well as the laws in your jurisdiction. In many cases, there are legal protections in place to prevent employers from retaliating against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims or asserting their rights related to workplace injuries. However, the exact laws and regulations vary by country, state, or region.
However, when deciding if an employee should sue their employer, they should take the following into account.
1. Workers’ Compensation Laws: Most jurisdictions have workers’ compensation laws that provide benefits to employees who are injured on the job. These laws are designed to ensure that injured workers receive medical treatment and compensation for lost wages. Employers are generally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Firing an employee for filing a legitimate workers’ compensation claim could be considered illegal retaliation.
2. Anti-Retaliation Laws: Many jurisdictions have laws in place that protect employees from retaliation for asserting their rights related to workplace safety and workers’ compensation. These laws vary, but they generally prohibit employers from firing, demoting, or otherwise retaliating against employees for seeking workers’ compensation benefits or reporting workplace injuries.
3. Wrongful Termination: If you were fired solely due to your work injury or your pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits, and there’s evidence to support your case, you might have grounds to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer. Wrongful termination claims can be complex and depend on the specific laws in your jurisdiction.
4. Call an Attorney: To determine whether you have a viable legal claim, it’s advisable to consult an employment law attorney who specializes in workers’ rights and a workers comp claim. They can review the details of your case, assess whether your rights were violated, and provide guidance on the best course of action.
5. Document Evidence: If you believe that your termination was related to your workplace injury, it’s important to gather any evidence that supports your claim. This could include emails, messages, witness statements, medical records, and any other documentation that demonstrates a link between your injury and your termination.
6. Statute of Limitations: Be aware that there is often a time limit (statute of limitations) within which you must file a legal claim. It’s important to consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines.
For more information, call Lawyers for Justice, PC today so the legal team can help you figure out the best course of action to manage your work injury and/or termination. Call (323) JUSTICE.