Can I Lose My Job on Workers’ Compensation?
When injured on the job, workers may turn for help to workers’ compensation. In some cases, however, a business may exercise their right to fire the injured employee. This is an extremely difficult issue for any worker, and understanding how these laws apply may be essential for making a strong case.
When Can an Employer Terminate an Injured Employee?
In most cases, an employer cannot legally fire a worker only because they have received Workers’ comp. However, there are reasonable exceptions that must be met. The following circumstances may be accepted as valid reasons for terminating a worker on workers’ comp:
- The injury prevents the employee from performing the job’s essential duties
- The employee is otherwise unable to do their job such as due to an impending court case
- The employee has violated their employer’s code of conduct
- The employee is unable to perform their duties and accommodated options are exhausted
It is important to note that each case is decided independently, and employers must be able to prove that their justification is reasonable and true.
What Rights Do Injured Employees Have?
Even if an employer proves that their case for firing the worker is legally valid, the injured employee may still have rights guaranteed by law. Depending on the specific circumstances, a worker may be entitled to the following:
- Medical treatment for their injury
- Ongoing payout to cover a portion of lost wages
- A lump sum, if more severe injuries render the employee unable to work
Whether or not an employee is fired, they may still be entitled to Workers’ comp, and should act accordingly to guarantee that their rights are fulfilled.
In conclusion, employers may have the right to terminate an injured worker in limited cases. Nevertheless, any worker that is potentially entitled to rights as part of their Workers’ comp should take action to ensure that their rights are fulfilled and upheld.