The laws state that no employer can terminate, harass, or retaliate against anyone who makes a claim for or is collecting work comp benefits.
Workers compensation is insurance that an employer is mandated to carry so that they have the resources to pay if one of their employees is injured while performing under the scope of their work duties. Whether or not a worker is eligible for benefits is guided by workers’ compensation law. If you are laid off, you may or may not be eligible according to why you were laid off. In addition, if you were laid off due to any missed work because of being injured, then you might have recourse to seek legal action against your employer.
Understanding Your Legal Rights
If your employer laid you off because you were on workers compensation, then that would be considered “retaliation,” which is strictly prohibited by workers’ compensation laws in Missouri. But if your employer was going to lay you off regardless of whether you were on workers compensation or not, then it isn’t technically retaliation. Therefore, it is possible for them to lay you off without any legal repercussions.
Because there are workers’ compensation laws that state that no employer can terminate, harass, or retaliate against anyone who makes a claim for or is collecting workers’ compensation benefits, if your employer takes any of those steps, then you can seek legal recourse. What workers’ compensation laws do not stipulate, however, is that anyone who either makes a claim for or is receiving workmens compensation benefits be granted special status or be given preferential treatment against being fired for other reasons.
If an employer can prove that they fired you because of poor work performance unrelated to your injury, or that there was another reason that they let you go, then they are not doing anything illegal. An employer has the legal right to terminate a worker for many reasons – just not because of their injury.
Compensation Benefits While You Are Laid Off
If you have already been laid off and you wish to receive workers’ compensation benefits, then you have to make sure that you can prove that your injuries were sustained while you were still employed. You must have documentation that can show that you were hurt while performing under the scope of your employment, and be aware that there are statutes of limitations to making a claim.
The only sure way to know whether you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you get laid off is by consulting a St. Louis work injury lawyer to guide you through the process of proving your case. They can also guide you through the complexity of recording documents, reporting your injuries, and supplying the necessary information within strict time constraints.
Contact a Work Accident Attorney
There are many laws in place in workers compensation benefits to protect both employers and employees. The only way to know for sure what you are entitled to is to consult a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case.
For more than 20 years, the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has been helping work accident victims receive the compensation they need and deserve. If you have questions about your work accident claim, call us at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a FREE consultation.