Ask any injured or sick employee why he or she is hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim and they’ll likely tell you it’s because of the fear of getting fired. Because of this, many people who have suffered an injury or illness on the job avoid the legal system all together. Instead, they opt to use their health insurance to visit the doctor along with sick days or paid time off in order to recover.
Do you see anything wrong with this picture? We do. At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody and Associates, we are committed to ensuring injured workers receive the benefits and representation they’re entitled to. This includes their right to file for workers’ compensation benefits to pay for medical bills and missed wages. Unfortunately, the process is often more difficult than it should be due to workers’ fears of losing their jobs while they’re out of work.
Can I lose my job while I’m out on worker’s compensation?
Legally, your employer cannot fire you because you report a workplace injury. However, there’s nothing stopping your employer from firing you while you have an open claim. Here’s why: Most employees have “at will” employment, which means your employer has a right to fire you at any time for any reason. However, when a workers’ compensation claim is involved, your employer must be able to prove that the reasons for your termination are unrelated to your claim.
Sometimes, an employer will retaliate and fire an employee who has filed for workers’ compensation without telling him or her that their claim is the reason for the termination. This is because most employers know it’s illegal, and that the employee could then file a lawsuit for discrimination or retaliatory termination. Instead, the employer might tell the employee he or she is being fired due to poor work performance, restructuring of the company, or any other legal reason.
If you are fired while you’re out of work on disability and you suspect that it’s due to your workers’ compensation claim, regardless of whatever reason your employer gives you, it’s important to print emails and save any documentation that supports your suspicion. This evidence could help support your argument should you decide to hire a workers’ compensation attorney and take legal action against your employer.
Are You Afraid of Losing Your Job?
If you’ve been fired while you have an open workers’ compensation claim, or if you think your employer may fire you in the near future, please call us today. There are statutory limitations for the time you can file a lawsuit, and you don’t want your employer to get away with unlawfully terminating your employment.
At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody and Associates in San Diego, our highly skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will gather evidence to support your lawsuit for employment discrimination and fight hard on your behalf to help you collect the benefits you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free, initial consultation. We look forward to serving you.