No employer is legally able to terminate an employee due to that employee filing a work injury claim.
Workers’ compensation insurance is the coverage that an employer has to take out in the event that one of their workers gets hurt. As a way to ensure that an employer has the assets to cover the cost of their worker’s injury, workers’ compensation was created to protect both employer and employee. The only drawback is that if you are injured in an accident at work, you are not able to sue your employer for your damages.
Many people are fearful of losing their job or of facing retaliation by their employer for filing a workers’ compensation claim; as a result, they don’t always make a claim for their injuries. If you are worried about losing your job because you were injured at work and are making a workers’ compensation claim, you should find comfort in knowing that workers’ comp law dictates that no employer is legally able to terminate an employee due to that employee filing a claim. They are also not legally able to seek any retaliation if you are injured while working and you file a claim for compensation.
Reasons for Termination
However, there are other reasons that your employment may be terminated. If the termination is based on things you do after your workers’ compensation benefits are paid, then it might be legal. Post-injury misconduct is one reason that your employer can fire you, but it cannot be due to your injury or the time that you have to take away from work. The only time that you can be fired for post-injury misconduct is if you do not perform your duties, even if your physician has specified that it is okay for you to return to work in your regular capacity.
So, although you can’t be fired for getting hurt while on the job or for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you do have to follow the laws related to when and how you can return to work, or you can face termination. Things like making your doctor’s appointments and having not just the proper physician’s certification, but also following through with recommendations and returning to work when you are deemed capable, are extremely important.
Claiming Wrongful Termination
If you feel as if you have been terminated from your job due to the injuries that you sustained while working, then you do have recourse to file suit against your employer for wrongful termination. Firing someone because they are injured on the job or because they make a claim for workers’ compensation is illegal in the state of Missouri.
To get legal help with your employer once you have been injured, it is always best to consult a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney. They will help to ensure that you know not just what your rights are, but also what your responsibilities are, not just when you are injured, but when it is time to return to work.
A St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can walk you through the complexities of getting the benefits you need for your work-related injuries and ensure that your employer doesn’t seek any retaliation against you.
Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
For over 20 years, the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has been helping work-injury victims receive the compensation benefits they need to move forward. When injured, you need answers and money quickly. You have bills to pay, a family to take care of, and a job to go back to. We will strive to resolve your claim quickly.
Call us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online case evaluation form.