The reason behind losing your job is very important in determining what will happen to your workers’ compensation benefits.
The workers’ compensation system is in place to protect employees who get hurt at work and are unable to get the same income as they normally would. It generally covers lost wages and medical expenses in a situation that would otherwise leave the victim unable to sustain themselves.
However, what happens when the work accident is also followed by getting fired?
Did Your Employer Fire You Before You Returned to Work?
For victims of severe injuries, working might never be possible. At least not in the industry they were working in until the accident. Some professional recoveries are possible, and the state does provide resources for you to find another line of work.
For victims who are unable to return to work, at least for some time during recovery, benefits are there as a means of subsistence.
However, if you don’t return for your job in the near future, your employer may have no choice but to replace you. Losing your job typically will not affect your benefits when you are still recovering at home, as long as you follow your treatment and other recommendations from your doctor.
Does Your Employer Have the Right to Fire You?
In some cases, the employee does return to work after the accident, if the doctors agree that it won’t jeopardize their recovery. Because of a duty to mitigate your losses after a work accident, you should generally accept working, even for a lesser income, if the employment opportunity is reasonable under the circumstances.
This means that you are expected to go back to work as soon as your doctor gives you the ok, even if for just a part-time job at your workplace. If you don’t, you risk having your benefits reduced or even stopped completely.
This being said, if you lost your job because you didn’t perform the duties that fall under the limitations of the new job, your employer does have a right to let you go. On the other hand, if the employer fires you because of not performing a work task that you simply cannot do anymore, or that your doctor advised against, then you could be looking at a wrongful termination case.
The reason behind losing your job is very important in determining what will happen to your benefits. The same goes for the medical recommendations that you’re supposed to follow. To summarize, your employer doesn’t have the right to fire you because you got hurt, or because you can’t perform duties the doctor advises against.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Lawyer
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your job, get in touch with an experienced workers comp lawyer at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Our experienced legal team can evaluate your claim for free and help you understand what your rights are moving forward.
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