An unexpected injury at work might leave you feeling stressed about your future. Imagine your surprise when you file a workers’ compensation claim only to learn that your employer has terminated you.
Wrongful termination can complicate your situation and harm your career. Knowing your rights can help you advocate for yourself and identify unfair treatment before it is too late.
When you arrive at work each day, you have the right to a safe and functional environment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you should have access to safety training and to applicable personal protective equipment. If you work near or with machinery or heavy equipment, your employer should adequately maintain it to protect you from harm. Your employer should instruct you about how to circumvent hazards and how to respond in an emergency situation.
If you do suffer a work-related injury, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have a legitimate situation, your benefits should provide monetary relief to replace lost wages. Your employer should provide additional resources needed for your recovery including any rehabilitative treatments.
If your employer terminates you without any reasonable purpose following your injury, you may be the victim of wrongful termination. You can first ask your employer to provide an explanation of their decision. If they refuse to provide an answer, you may need to take your concerns elsewhere. Wrongful termination can have serious legal repercussions which means you may receive compensatory damages.
If you have a valid workers’ compensation claim, your employer cannot legally terminate you because they do not want to deal with an injured employee. You deserve their support while you recover and determine your next steps.