By law, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. This means, if you are injured on the job, you will be able to pursue compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages. However, if you are injured and take time off of work, can your employment be lawfully terminated? Is there anything to prevent your employer from firing you because of your injury?
Here’s what you need to know:
Understanding At-Will Employment
At-will employment means you and your employer may terminate your employment contract at any time, for a variety of reasons. This means, if you are injured at work, there is nothing that legally prevents your employer from firing you. While many companies have procedures to deal with injured employees returning to work, it is important to consider your employment contract. If you are an at-will employee, you may not be able to legally fight against a decision by your employer to terminate your contract if you are injured.
A common example is if your employer runs a small business and has to hire someone to take your place to avoid losing profits. Communicating with your employer throughout the process is important, as well as providing medical records and other documentation your employer requests. You can also read your company’s regulations for handling an injured employee’s return to work. Depending on the situation, you may be able to return to the same job or enter an alternative position in the business. Many companies also have accommodations for newly disabled employees returning to work after an injury.
Understanding Unlawful Discrimination
The main exception that would allow you to fight your employer’s decision to fire you is if he or she exhibited violations of the law or unfair discrimination based on your injury. By law, you cannot be fired simply because you filed for workers’ compensation. If you can provide evidence that your employer unfairly discriminated against you in terminating your employment, you may be able to seek additional compensation, including damages for mental anguish and past and future lost wages.
Understanding Breach of Implied Contract
An implied contract involves verbal statements about an employee’s job security. For example, if your employer repeatedly assures you that your job is secure, and you are fired after sustaining an injury, you can file for compensation. An implied contract may be proven through witness testimony, records of employment, and documentation showing excellent performance or other relevant factors. Depending on your situation, you may be able to seek compensation for damages and lost wages.
Contact The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC Today at (770) 629-9321
With millions recovered in workers’ compensation claims for our clients, The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC can provide efficient legal services. If you were fired after sustaining an on-the-job injury, we can investigate your incident and discuss your options for pursuing the compensation you deserve. Our compassionate Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers can tenaciously represent you in court, and we are passionate about upholding our clients’ rights to compensation.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free initial case evaluation.