Your Questions Answered About The Fields Of Law

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Can A Workers' Compensation Claim Get You Fired?


One fear that many people have is that their employers will fire them rather than allow them to file a workers compensation claim. You may fear your employer will fire you rather than pay out, or you may fear your employer will not hold a position for you while you're on leave. Here are the facts of the matter.

The "At Will" Employee

For "at will" employees the situation is clear. Your employer can fire you at any time for virtually any reason. One of the few things they cannot fire you for is a workers' compensation claim. However, they can fire you at any time while you pursue your claim, for reasons unrelated to the claim.

Of course that means, theoretically, that even if your employer does fire you for a workers' compensation claim, they won't admit to it. They will have the ability to say they fired you for some other reason.

The Contractual and Statutory Employee

For employees under contract, those in unions, or those in the public sector, the rules are different. The contract itself will stipulate what the employee can or cannot do regarding your employment. It's still illegal for them to fire you for claiming workers' compensation, but they may have the ability to fire you for missing too many workdays. Or, they can remove your position in your absence.

What to Do If You Suspect Retaliatory Termination

Keep in mind that your employer, no matter what, cannot fire you in retaliation for filing a claim. If you suspect in the slightest that something of that nature can, will, or has occurred, then you have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

It doesn't matter if your work injury occurs in the first week of employment or several years into it. Workers' compensation insurance exists to take care of such eventualities.

  • Contact the human resources department of your job for more information
  • Contact your local Dept. of Labor or Workers' Compensation Board to file a complaint
  • Contact a workers' compensation attorney to speak about your options

If you are already in the process of rehabilitation and collecting from your WC claim, then there's a possibility that you can come back only to find your position refilled or eliminated. In cases like these, it's your employer's prerogative. Most employers will hire you back, but there's no guarantee you will have the same position or even the same pay.

No matter what, you should speak to a workers' compensation attorney about your situation. If you involve an attorney from the very beginning, he or she can help you navigate through whatever circumstances come up during the process.


5 August 2015