If you are injured on the job or have a chronic health condition due to your work, you are protected from retaliation.
If you’ve recently been injured on the job and filed a workers’ compensation claim in St. Louis, you may be wondering if you can get in trouble with your employer for filing your claim. Could you be fired or punished after filing a claim? Here’s what you need to know.
You Are Protected From Retaliation After Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
If you are injured on the job or have a chronic health condition due to your work, you are protected from retaliation. If your employer fires you right after you’re injured – and they do so because you were injured – they may be breaking the law.
Even though Missouri is an “at-will” state and businesses can fire workers for any reason, there are exceptions, like firing you for being injured or filing a workers’ comp claim. This helps protect workers’ rights and ensures employers are incentivized to maintain a safe working environment.
Being Injured On The Job Doesn’t Protect Your Job In All Cases
Even if you’re on workers’ compensation, you can still be fired from your job for non-retaliatory reasons. For example, if the company is going through tough times and you’re included in group layoffs, you won’t be protected just because of your injury.
The same is true if you have a poor work record and have not been performing your duties properly before your injury – for example, if you were late every day for a few weeks, your employer could fire you for this reason.
Basically, as long as your employer has some other legitimate reason for firing you, it is possible to lose your job while you’re still receiving worker’s compensation.
How Can I Prove I Was Fired Due To My Worker’s Comp Claim?
It can be hard to try to prove you were fired due to your claim or injury. However, an experienced workplace retaliation lawyer can examine your case and help you understand if you can prove you were fired because you filed a work injury claim.
There are a few signs you can look out for that may indicate that you were fired unjustly. The first thing is the timing. If you’re fired within a few days or weeks of your injury, it’s more likely that your lawyer can prove that this was retaliatory.
In addition, if supervisors or other managers have said negative things to you about your injury and claim, or pressured you not to file a claim, this could be used as evidence.
You also should consider the reason your employer gave for letting you go. For example, if they claim “performance issues,” but you were the best employee at your company and have no history of being disciplined for bad performance or work-related issues, this may help you build your case.
Protect Your Rights – Speak With an Experienced Work Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured on the job and are worried that your job may be at risk, speak with a St. Louis work injury attorney ASAP to make sure you protect your rights – and are not fired illegally for filing your claim.
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