If you are injured while working, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries through workers’ compensation. This is the system that protects all workers from unsafe working conditions. However, if you have been injured, you may be worried about the safety of your job. Many injured workers ask the same question: “Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?” This short guide will provide you with all the information you need on this topic.
The law is very clear about this. No one may ever be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The laws vary greatly from one state to the next, but it is universally true that you cannot be terminated because of the workers’ compensation claim. Likewise, it is illegal for an employer to threaten an employee with termination if they file a claim. If you were fired for this reason, or you suspect you were fired for this reason, it is in your best interest to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. If you were told this was the reason for your termination, the chance your lawsuit will end in success is incredibly high.
At Will States
Some states have “at will employment,” which may complicate your case slightly. In an at will state, employers may fire an employee at any time and for any reason that is not discriminatory. Employers also do not need a reason at all, or to give prior notice. At will employment also allows employees to quit at any time, for any reason, and without prior notice. If you live in an at will employment state, your employer can fire you while your workers’ comp case is open, but the reason cannot be because of the case. If you suspect that this is the reason, you can still file a lawsuit against them, but you will need some kind of proof that the reason was illegal.
Using Your Own Health Insurance
If you are worried that filing a workers’ comp case might get you fired, you may be tempted to use your own health insurance policy. This is generally a bad idea. In fact, many healthcare providers will send the bill to your employer if they discover the injury happened while on the job. It is not illegal to use your own health insurance, but it can hurt your rates and you are always guaranteed workers’ comp, so there is no reason not to use it. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights better.
Source: Hauppauge, NY Workers Comp Lawyer, Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C.