What happens if I am fired while on workers comp? During work, casualties are bound to occur. Most times, it’s a no-fault scenario on the part of the employees; this means the employer is to blame.
Legislative interventions have been made to ensure that the affected workers are duly compensated.
However, either based on employer retaliation (an employee filing for comp) or legal reasons (maybe, unsatisfactory performance of employee), an affected worker could be fired.
The big question for these victims would be; “what happens if I am fired while on workers’ comp?”
This article will take you through all of that.
Table of Contents
What Is Workers’ Comp All About?
Workers’ compensation or workers’ comp is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence.
Virtually all states provide four types of benefits: medical coverage, disability, rehabilitation, and death benefits.
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Unfortunately, some employers fire injured workers following a work accident. In most situations when an injured worker is fired following a work accident, they are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
What Happens If I’m Fired While On Workers’ Comp?
Being fired does not legally prevent or stop the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some situations when workers’ compensation benefits are denied after an injured worker is fired.
The reason for the firing and when it occurs are important factors in determining if an injured worker will continue receiving benefits.
When Is Firing Justified?
Sometimes, a firing after a work accident is justified. A justified firing (for cause) is more likely to result in the denial or suspension of workers’ compensation benefits. Situations, when a firing may be justified following a work accident, include:
- A positive drug or alcohol test result shortly after a work accident.
- Misuse of company equipment that led to a work injury.
- Missing work without a doctor’s excuse.
- Arguing with or being disrespectful to your boss or supervisor.
- Personal activities or horseplay during work time that led to an injury.
- For refusing to perform light-duty work approved by the treating physician.
When Is Firing Unjustified?
Situations, when a firing may not be justified following a work accident, include:
- For reporting a work accident.
- When filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- For refusing to perform work greater than the restrictions assigned by the treating physician.
- Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer
- For missing work with an excuse from the treating physician.
When and How to File a Retaliation Claim or Lawsuit
You may need to file a retaliation claim or lawsuit as soon as you can If you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated because you have filed a workers’ comp claim.
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Contact a lawyer immediately. A good lawyer can go a long way toward a successful outcome in filing a lawsuit to protect your rights.
In this situation, it is essential that you document everything about your injury and employment situation.
While a lawyer helps you gather the needed documentation, file the appropriate paperwork on time, prepare your case and fight for you in court.
- Keep a file of all relevant documents about your medical condition.
- Print all the emails between you and your employer and their insurance company that are related to your workers’ comp claim.
- Write down the names of everyone present during meetings with your employer and their insurance company, as well as any notes about what is discussed in the meetings.
- These documents and measures will help you and your lawyer support any lawsuit you may file.
Ensure you don’t sit idle when you get fired while on workers’ comp. As this piece advises, go through the right channels, and you’d be rest assured of continual benefits.