Can I Be Fired After Obtaining A Workplace Injury?
A person who sustains an injury at work may wonder if he or she can be fired. The short answer is no, but sometimes employers find ways to do so. First, any employer that has more than three employees is supposed to have a workers’ compensation policy to protect its employees. A workers’ compensation policy pays injured employees a portion of their wages while they are recovering from an injury. The employer is supposed to grant the employee the time that he or she needs to recover as stated by the doctor.
Some workplace injuries may happen because of a wrong that the worker has done. For example, an intoxicated employee who gets hurt because of his or her condition is at fault. If the employer forces the employee to take a drug or alcohol test, and that person fails the test, then the employer has the right to terminate the employee, or at the very least, ask the employee to seek help for alcohol or drug addiction. Working while intoxicated is a serious rule that many employers have. They state such rules and their consequences in the hiring paperwork in most cases. In such a situation, the employee would have a tough time proving unfair termination.
A completely opposite situation would be one in which the employee was not at fault for the incident. In such a case, the employee may be protected under workers’ compensation or the Family and Medical Leave Act. An employer may not fire an employee who is protected under FMLA or workers’ compensation. If such does occur, then the employee would have legal recourse to hire an attorney who handles unfair termination. The Americans with Disabilities Act is another order of protection for injured employees.
Some employers try to get around the laws that are in place by terminating an employee for an alternative reason. They could try to use any reason, as long as they do not blatantly state that the employee is being terminated for a disability or injury. Such cases require specialized attorneys who have experience in unfair terminations by employers.
Finding a firm with experience and finesse is the best way to win such a complex case. The best firms are firms that have documented success and passion for helping less fortunate people. Teal & Montgomery is an example of such a firm. The firm fights for workers who cannot fight for themselves. Contact us to learn more.