Can Your Job Fire You For Being Injured?
It can be incredibly difficult after sustaining a workplace injury. In addition to the physical and emotional effects, injured workers can also be worried about their job security; can their job legally fire them for being injured?
What The Law Says
The law provides protections for workers who are injured on the job, regardless of whether the injury was caused by their own negligence or not. Most countries have what are known as “at-will employment” laws, which protect the rights of employers and employees to terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason.
However, employers are required to provide a safe working environment and to adhere to anti-discrimination laws and other employment regulations. As such, employers cannot terminate an employee who sustains an injury on the job simply because they have been injured or require time off due to their injury.
Discrimination of any kind is prohibited, including discrimination based on an employee’s disability or injury. Employers must be extra cautious with regard to any decisions they make after an employee has been injured at work, as any action that can be reasonably seen as ‘unfair treatment’ may be interpreted as discrimination and may be the basis for a discrimination lawsuit.
Do You Have Protection?
Yes, you do. Generally speaking, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for having sustained an injury on the job. It is also illegal for an employer to fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim or taking time off from work to receive medical treatment for a work related injury. Such action can be seen as retaliatory and may result in a wrongful termination lawsuit.
In addition to legal protections, some countries also provide financial compensation for workers who have been injured at work. This compensation can include wages lost due to time off and payment for medical expenses. It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws in your country regarding your rights after sustaining a workplace injury.
Types of Wrongful Terminations
There are a few different types of wrongful termination after an employee has been injured at work:
- Retaliation: An employer cannot fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim or taking time off to recover from an injury.
- Discrimination: An employer cannot terminate an employee on the basis of their disability or injury.
- Breach of Contract: An employer cannot breach the employee’s right to just cause termination or other terms of the employment agreement.
Injuries sustained in the workplace can be both physically and emotionally challenging. Suffering an injury at work can also leave injured employees worried about their job security. Fortunately, laws protecting employees from wrongful termination do exist.