Injured At Work and Worried About Getting Laid Off
Most employees who are injured on the job avoid filing a workers’ compensation claim for the fear of retaliation by their employer. This results with the injured worker having to use their personal health insurance instead of the workers’ compensation insurance provided by the employer.
Often, injured workers who do not file a workers’ compensation claim and need time to care for injury will end up using sick days or any short term disability they have.
Be aware that your employer cannot terminate you purely because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. However, the employer may terminate your employment even while the claim is still open, but must be able to prove there were reasons to let you go.
Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers’ compensation is the system of laws that was put in place to protect employees from work related injuries. These laws were created to provide injured workers with medical care, lost wages, retraining, and if necessary rehabilitation allowing the injured employee to return to the workforce.
Workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Medical Benefits
- Lost Wage Benefits
- Temporary Disability Benefits
- Impairment Benefits
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits
- Death Benefits
Proving Retaliatory Termination
Majority of employment contracts are “at will”, this means that the employer or employee may terminate their existing relationship at any time with or without cause. However, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee for merely filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If an employer terminates your employment and you suspect it is in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should gather as much information as possible to help build your case. It is important to keep all documentation and evidence regarding your injury and employment.
Damages may be rewarded to an employee if they can prove their employment was terminated strictly for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The following are damages that an employee may receive from an employer:
- Back Pay
- Future Wages
- Mental Anguish
- Emotional Distress
- Punitive Damages
- Attorney Fees
Hiring A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you were fired while receiving treatment, there may be some suspicion that your employer is terminating you because of the workers’ compensation claim that you filed. Of course, there may be other reasons for the termination, but if you believe you have been targeted for the claim, you should strongly consider talking to an attorney.
Contact an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation law if any negative action has been taken against you by your employer following an injury you suffered while at work. There is statutory limitations for the time a lawsuit can be filed.
Get The Help & Resources You Deserve
If you has been injured in a work place accident, or lost a loved one as a result of the work accident, or if you would like more information about other work injury cases, you should contact Glotzer & Kobren, P.A. at 561-361-8677.