Being hurt on the job can make life hard. When an employer goes one step further and lets you go after a workplace injury it can leave you angry, confused, and wanting to be heard. If you believe you were wrongfully dismissed because you were injured and filed for workers’ compensation, our dedicated team at Stanley Law Offices is ready to help.
Understanding employment law
Determining whether wrongful dismissal compensation applies in your case is a detailed process. Although employers are typically not permitted to fire employees who file for workers’ comp, there are some exceptions. That’s why it’s critical to hire a qualified attorney if you find yourself in this situation.
Retaliatory firing is illegal
Typically, terminating someone’s employment in retaliation for reporting an injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim is illegal. However, in most states, the doctrine of “at-will” employment is also valid. This means that both the employer and employee may terminate their working relationship at any time, for practically any reason. Employment and labor laws in New York and Pennsylvania are complex, but an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can assess your case and determine the appropriate action to take.
In certain cases, an employer may be allowed to legally terminate an injured employee if they’re permanently disabled and cannot perform their job or fill another position. Also if making changes to accommodate a worker’s disability causes unreasonable financial hardship to the employer. If a key employee in a small business is injured, the owner may be allowed to terminate their employment if waiting for their return causes the business to suffer. It’s important to note that even though termination is lawful, these circumstances don’t absolve an employer of the responsibility to fairly compensate an injured worker for their losses.
Some employment contracts outline specific work agreement terms and may include when and how the employee or employer can terminate the contract. If you’ve been let go in a manner that breaches your contract, you may be able to take legal action against your employer.
Implied employment contracts
Most large companies have manuals that outline procedures for workers who have been injured on the job and policies for returning to work. If you followed these policy guidelines, or your employer assured you your job was secure, and you were still fired, wrongful dismissal compensation may apply.
What to do if you’re fired after an on-the-job injury
To recover wrongful dismissal compensation in these types of cases you must be able to prove that your employer fired you in retaliation. If you’re let go while you have an open workers’ compensation claim, or even if you suspect your employer may fire you in the near future, keep all evidence related to your injury and employment. This includes accident or injury reports, medical records, medical bills, performance reviews, employee handbooks, emails, texts, phone records, and any other related documentation.
Contact an attorney who’s well-versed in handling cases involving wrongful termination. There are time limits for filing a wrongful dismissal compensation claim. It’s important to seek the counsel of an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible. These types of cases are challenging, so don’t go it alone. An attorney can provide the legal support you need and safeguard your rights and interests.
Take the next step
It takes true grit to win a case. At Stanley Law Offices we fight to protect the rights of injured workers and those who’ve been injured due to no fault of their own. Call us at 1-800-608-3333 or contact us online to schedule a FREE, confidential consultation. Our offices are in Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, or Rochester, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Members of The Team at Stanley Law are also fluent in Spanish and ready to serve you.