If an employee is fired after they filed a compensation claim to get benefits for an injury sustained at work, they should ask a workers’ comp attorney for professional guidance right away. It is not legal to terminate a worker because they incurred injuries in the workplace and then filed a claim for benefits. An employer can dismiss or lay off an employee who filed the workers’ compensation claim, but not because of that. In other words, while the claim is open or pending resolution, the injured employee cannot be terminated because they incurred an injury on the job, reported the incident to the employer, filed a compensation claim or because they need lighter duties because of the injury.
Fear of losing your job after filing a compensation claim
It is very usual for employees who sustained an injury or have a cumulative trauma for performing repetitive job duties that resulted in a health condition to feel fear of termination if they report the injury to the employer or file a claim. They feel apprehensive and unsure about making that move. Because of how they feel, these employees often choose to keep quiet about their injury and continue to work as usual.
Sadly, this often makes things much worse. The injury easily worsens if it’s not taken care of and if there is no recovery. As a result, the worker actually becomes unable to perform their usual job duties in the appropriate manner. Paradoxically, that’s how they get closer to being terminated, which is just what they wanted to avoid by not reporting the injury.
That’s not where problems end. When the injury is not reported in a timely manner, the whole compensation claim is put in serious jeopardy, because it becomes difficult to prove the injury happened in the workplace. So, the injured worker could really get terminated and legally denied the benefits which they rightfully deserve.
How can termination following a claim be terminated
The single most important thing an injured worker can do for themselves is immediately report the injury they incurred while doing their job. They should do so even when they fear termination. It’s important to note that it’s extremely rare for an employer to dismiss a worker because the worker got hurt on the job and filed a claim to get compensation. This is because employers know such a termination would inevitably result in multiple lawsuits. Severe court penalties are provided for employers who terminate employees or discriminate against them because they filed a claim for the injuries they sustained on the job. The Fair Employment Housing Act also provides penalties for employers who dismiss their employee or discriminate against them on the grounds of disability.
Have a workers’ comp attorney in Long Beach protect your rights
Even if you fear termination or discrimination, don’t allow it to prevent you from claiming your rights. You are entitled to ask for compensation if you sustained injuries while doing your job. Employers are aware they would face lawsuits if they terminated you because of the claim, so they vary rarely do such a thing. Workers’ compensation legal system is designed in such a way to resolve the matter to the benefit of both parties. The employer wants to keep the costs of compensation low, and the employee wants due medical care and benefits. If the matter is resolved efficiently, the worker should be back on the job ready to perform the duties.
If you live or work in Long Beach and you got hurt on the job, don’t hesitate to contact an expert lawyer in Long Beach. A workers’ comp attorney from our group is always available for a free case review with you. Our experienced, aggressive and ethical lawyers work on a contingency fee, so you only pay if you recover the compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact us right now – there’s absolutely nothing to lose!