At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we believe every worker in every industry should be well-informed of their rights and legal options, especially for those pertaining to a workplace accident and workers’ compensation. That is why it is so upsetting for us to hear from so many clients that they were told by their employers that hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer could be grounds for termination. This is not true. You cannot be legally terminated for hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to help you after being in a workplace accident.
Your protection against this sort of termination is granted through anti-retaliation employment laws, which cover a broader spectrum of protection. Together, they are meant to allow you to seek fair and owed compensation and benefits without worry.
Your employer can’t retaliate against you for:
- Being hurt at work
- Reporting your injury
- Filing for workers’ comp
- Hiring a workers’ comp lawyer
Furthermore, your employer can’t get in between you and your benefits by blocking your claim or by intentionally misinforming you about your options. Just the act of telling you that hiring a lawyer is an offense that could be worthy of termination is highly questionable and could land your employer in trouble.
Can I Be Forced to Quit?
You cannot be fired just because you hired an attorney or filed for workers’ compensation. However, you could be forced to resign through a settlement agreement. Employers and insurers alike tend to not want an injured worker to continue working for the same company because there could be a risk of another similar injury happening. To get the worker the benefits they need while also trying to protect the employer’s future interests, it is not unusual for a workers’ compensation settlement agreement to require the worker to voluntarily resign.
Keep in mind that you can only be required to voluntarily resign through a settlement agreement you voluntarily sign. If you signed an agreement that did not require you to quit, but your employer wants to fire you afterward, then they are once again out of line and violating your employment rights.
Can You Sue Your Employer for Wrongful Termination?
If your employer fired you for hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, then there are two things you should know. Firstly, you still have the right to pursue workers’ comp benefits, whether you are still employed or not. Secondly, you could have a wrongful termination case on your hands. Depending on the situation, you might be able to sue your employer for compensation related to your lost wages and hardships due to the wrongful termination.
At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we focus on worker’s compensation cases, hearings, and denials. Although we do not typically handle employment law cases, we are a highly experienced and reputable law firm in the Atlanta area. We could refer your case to a trusted law office that focuses on wrongful termination cases while we get to work on your workers’ comp case.
To learn more about your options, feel free to contact us online at any time.