What If My Boss Threatens To Fire Me For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A lot of workers fear retaliation from their superiors if they file a workers’ compensation claim after being injured in the line of duty. The sad truth is that this does happen very often. However, there are some actions you can take to prevent this and if it still does, there are steps you can take to make it right.
Employers, or more commonly insurance representatives, try to discourage employees from asking for their workers’ compensation benefits after an injury. Your colleagues might also try to advise against filing for benefits fearing the reprecautions of such action.
However, that’s not a good advice. If you continue working with an injury or before it has properly healed, you could do even more irreparable damage and be a danger to other workers as well. As a worker, you have your rights and one of these rights is the right to workers’ compensation benefits. So if anyone tries to discourage you from seeking these benefits, contact a good workers’ compensation attorney.
The Right of Every Worker
If you get injured at work or sustain an injury or medical condition due to your work activities, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In most states, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their workers.
Workers’ compensation also protects employers from a lawsuit for any injuries at the workplace. That was the main reason why workers’ compensation was implemented in the first place. That is why workers’ compensation is the only way an employee can get compensated for an injury. So if you don’t file for workers’ compensation, you will not receive any compensation for your lost wages or medical bills. That is why you should resist intimidation and demand what’s legally yours.
What Can I Do If an Employer Fires Me?
If an employer goes through with the threat and fires you for filing for workers’ compensation, you can sue them for wrongful termination in most states. If you win the case you are going to receive a hefty compensation from your employer on the count of wrongful termination.
Apart from being sued and having to pay the fine determined by the court, your employer will be subject to a government investigation in case of a wrongful termination. The investigation might even result in a new government lawsuit against employers who retaliate against workers.
What are My Options?
As you can see, your employer should think twice before threatening to fire you if you file for workers’ compensation. They could be faced with many lawsuits, hefty fines and subject to government investigations if they fire you wrongfully. But even if they work against their better judgment, all that court processes might take some time. So what should you do in the meantime?
First, take care of your health. Pay the medical bills from your own insurance, if you can cover it. You will be compensated when the workers’ compensation case is resolved. Next, find a good legal representative to fight for your rights in the court. Finally, make sure to file for other benefits you can file for, like unemployment benefits or disability benefits, if the injury was serious enough to prevent you from seeking other work.