Although the majority of employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance, an employee may feel like their employment is at risk after an incident at work. The truth is, employers cannot fire someone based solely on filing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, it is illegal to discriminate, threaten, or refuse to rehire an employee on the grounds of filing a claim.
What Is Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
If a person gets injured or killed because of an accident at work, they are entitled to compensation based on medical care and missed time at work. No matter how small a business is, all employees are entitled to the protection that workers’ compensation provides. Depending on the injury, it may put a person out of work for a long time, and the compensation assists with lost wages. If a person cannot return to work, they may qualify for permanent disability and their compensation will be higher than temporary disability.
To avoid complications, research how to properly file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. They may have specific guidelines and policy for reporting. They may want the injury reported a certain way and require specific documentation in order to receive compensation.
Although employers cannot fire you for filing or threatening to file a worker’s compensation case, an at-will employee can be fired for any, or no, reason. An at-will employee can also leave for any, or no, reason. There are legitimate reasons an employer may let go of an employee, such as misconduct, poor performance, or insubordination. An employer may use one of these reasons as justification for letting go of an employee because of a workers’ compensation claim. In this case, an employee would have to prove that their firing was the result of exercising their rights to compensation.
Workers in particularly dangerous careers with occupational hazards are especially protected from facing retaliation from a worker’s compensation claim. Retaliation can be losing your job completely or facing discrimination once back at work with changes in responsibilities and job description. If you notice changes in your workplace, it is important to document them to reference when fighting back from retaliation. When fighting the denial, you will need evidence that you have been discriminated against or fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Contact an Aurora Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you can prove that your employer has fired you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may have a case for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Contact an experienced Kane County workers’ compensation attorney who will advocate for your right to file for workers’ compensation without discrimination.