Most people often avoid filing claims for workers’ compensation for fear of losing their jobs. Instead of bothering themselves with workers’ compensation, they simply visit their doctor’s office. Meanwhile, if they ever need to be absent from work for a while, they use one of their sick leaves.
However, in most doctors’ offices these days, employees are screened for mishaps or accidents that happened at work, wherein if they find out that you suffered the injury at work, they’ll surely bill your employer’s insurance provider. On the other hand, if you refuse to use your worker’s compensation claims, you’ll most likely be left unattended to. In such cases, you are left with no option other than to file a workers’ comp claim.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The short answer is no, you cannot be fired because the law does not support termination during workers’ compensation. However, you may be fired by your employer if you file an open workers’ compensation claim. For such termination to be accepted, your employer must show valid reasons for firing you that are in no way related to the fact that you filed a workers’ comp claim.
What Is an “At Will” Employment?
Under this form of employment, the employer can issue a termination for whatever reason they may like. Similarly, employees can decide to leave their jobs for any or no significant reason. If you cannot clearly define your employment situation, you’re most likely an “at will employee”
If you belong to this category of employees, you can be sacked for reasons such as:
- you have been performing poorly
- the company is experiencing financial difficulties
- other legal reasons
However, if you have ever filed the workers’ comp claim, it may provide sufficient motivation for your employer to terminate your employment. Most employers will definitely not tell you that’s the reason you are being sacked because they know you can file a lawsuit against them for their wrongdoing.
You may not be sacked if you file a workers’ comp claim if you are a contracted employee. Also, most employees’ contract lists out the reasons for which their employment could be terminated, such as being absent for more than 6 months.
Termination as Revenge for Claiming Workers’ Compensation
Sacking an employee just because they filed a workers’ comp claim is illegal. Most employers would be very careful not to reveal a termination to be an act of revenge because of their fear of lawsuits and legal charges. However, if you have the slightest intuition that your employment was terminated because of the claim you filed, you should take note of the following:
- Medical Improvement
Your employer is expected to pay your workers’ claim until you fully recover from injuries sustained at work or reach at least the maximum medical improvement possible.
- Permanent Work Restrictions
If you have recovered fully or have reached maximum medical improvement, there should be an imperative discussion with your doctor about whether you should be granted permanent work restrictions. Your employer should be reasonable enough to tolerate work restrictions so that you can work efficiently.
- Document Your Evidence
If you suspect that your employer might terminate you to avenge the workers’ comp filed, make sure to maintain proper documentation of all evidence related to the injuries sustained. Make copies of emails and print them out along with other relevant documents that might help out with your lawsuits against the unfair treatment.
Filing for workers’ comp claims should come with no fears. Make sure to work with seasoned professionals to ensure the rightful settlement of your claims. As an independent insurance agency, we work with a wide range of carriers to ensure you get the policy that meets your needs. Serving Houston, Texas, and beyond, contact us at J Archer Insurance Group today.