If you were fired because you applied for workers’ compensation, then you may have a wrongful termination claim. This is because you are protected under retaliation laws which make it illegal for an employer to retaliate if you have won a worker’s compensation claim.
What Happens If I Am Fired for Taking Workers’ Compensation?
If you believe you were fired for taking workers’ compensation, then you may have a wrongful termination claim as your employer has decided to retaliate because you have applied and won a workers’ compensation claim. Workplace retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in a legally protected activity. Examples of protected activities may include the following:
- filing a claim for worker’s compensation;
- an employee filing internal reports about discriminatory employment practices or harassment directed toward the employee or the employee’s colleagues.;
- whistle blowing.
Retaliation by an employer can include any negative action, like a demotion, firing, reduction in salary, or a change in job requirements or shift. Sometimes actions taken by an employer are quite justified and wouldn’t be considered illegal but if the employee can prove he or she has been fired due to winning a worker’s compensation claim then the chances are the action by the employee is quite illegal and the employee has a right to report the employer’s action to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).
When an employer fires an employee, it may not be a retaliatory action so in this case the employee has to provide sufficient evidence that he or she has been fired due to winning a worker’s compensation claim.
How Do I Prove My Firing Was for Applying for Workers’ Compensation?
As an employee you will have at some time been issued with progress reports, memos and even a promotion which shows you are in good standing with the company. If the only thing you have done is apply for worker’s compensation then you may have a good case which proves being fired was illegal retaliatory action fired because you were injured at work.
If you are an at-will employee, your employer could terminate your employment based upon poor work performance, the necessity for layoffs to take place due to financial problems, a company restructuring, or any other legal reason. At the same time, if you have filed a workers' compensation claim, this may have given your employer the chance to let you go even though the action is not legal.
Get Help With Your Wrongful Termination Claim
It is never a simple matter winning a wrongful termination claim as it is not always easy to prove that there was another reason for being fired and that the wrongful termination was nothing to do with filing a worker’s compensation claim. That is why it is so important to consider working with an attorney.
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