Can You Be Fired for Seeking Workmens Comp Benefits?

Many injured workers fail to file a claim because they fear being fired or retaliated against.

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that employers in the state of Missouri must have to ensure that if one of their employees is injured while on the job, they have the means to pay for the employee’s injuries. The trade-off to workers’ compensation insurance is that if you file a claim, you aren’t able to sue your employer unless specific and extraordinary circumstances exist.

Fear of Retaliation

Many workers are fearful of being fired or terminated if they file a claim for their injuries, and thus don’t get the fair compensation that they deserve or they suffer through injuries, not getting the help they need or are entitled to. However, if you are injured while on the job, workers compensation law requires that you are protected against being fired or retaliated against if you choose to file a claim.

In most instances, employers cannot fire someone while they are on workers’ compensation, but there are times when an employee can be fired if there is an open claim for workers’ compensation. There have to have specific reasons for the termination.

Employment Status

If you are an “at-will” employee, then the conditions of your employment are such that you can be terminated at any time, for any reason. Those who work “at-will” also have the advantage of quitting whenever they want. That doesn’t mean that all “at-will” workers are vulnerable if they make a claim for workers’ compensation. If you are “at-will” employee and are already receiving workers’ compensation benefits, then technically it is illegal to fire you for filing the claim. But there are other reasons that an employer might seek to terminate your employment.

If you are an employee who is working as a contractor, then it is illegal for you to be fired for making a claim for workers’ compensation unless there is a specific loophole in the contractual agreement with an employer. There are cases when stipulations exist in a contact that designate that a contractor might be terminated if they cannot return to work for extended periods, which would leave someone who needed long-term workers’ compensation benefits vulnerable to being fired.

Retaliation Laws

If an employer terminates someone because they file a claim or are receiving workers compensation benefits, then they are doing so illegally. If you feel as if you have been terminated simply because you made a claim for workers’ compensation without any other reason, then it is imperative that you hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to understand and protect your rights. It is illegal for an employer to fire you simply for seeking the benefits that you are entitled to due to being injured on the job.

St. Louis Work Injury Law Firm

You don’t have to fear losing your job for making a legitimate claim for workers’ compensation. There are laws to protect you from being fired or your employer seeing retaliation. If you believe those laws have been broken, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. For more than 20 years we have being helping victims of work injuries receive the compensation they and their families need to move forward.

Call us at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online case evaluation form.

Updated: December 18, 2017