No one wants to get injured while working, but accidents do happen. Construction workers may have the highest risk for getting hurt, but even office employees can suffer an injury while performing their duties.
Greg Coleman Law talks about what could happen if you got fired for pursuing a workers’ comp claim after suffering a work-related injury, as well as what to expect if you got let go while collecting benefits.
Employees get injured in many different types of scenarios on the job. If you suffer a work-related injury or illness, it is important to know that your workers’ compensation benefits will be there to help you get the medical care and income you need while you recover.
Our Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyers are prepared to help. Learn more by contacting our firm for a completely FREE, no-obligation consultation.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
In the state of Tennessee, it is illegal for any employer to fire his or her employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim after suffering a work-related injury. If you get fired for filing for workers’ compensation benefits, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure your legal rights are protected.
However, if you filed a claim and are actively receiving your benefits, it is possible that you could lose your job. After going out on disability, your employer is not legally required to hold your job open until you are able to return. He or she may offer you an alternative position, but there is no guarantee of you getting back your former position after going out on disability for any extended period.
Will Your Benefits Stop if You Are Fired?
In general, if your employer lets you go while you are out on disability, you will continue to receive your benefits. However, there are some circumstances that could impact your workers’ compensation benefits.
If your employer “has cause” to let you go due to certain disciplinary actions, then your benefits could be canceled. Additionally, if your doctor determines you can do modified work, or work at reduced hours, and you reject an employer’s offer to do so, your benefits could be terminated.
Additionally, if you decline to return to work in a timely manner after being cleared by your doctor, your employer could fire you and your benefits would also discontinue.
These are some issues you should discuss with a lawyer to determine whether you have legal options against your employer.
Tennessee is an At-Will State
Tennessee is an at-will state, which means that an employer can terminate you, or any employee, without having to give you a reason. Essentially, this means, that even if you are out on disability, your employer can fire you, and as long as he or she did not discriminate against you due to race, gender, age, religion, color, national origin or disability, he or she cannot be held liable.
If you are under contract, however, there are some circumstances where your employer may be required to give you a reason for your termination. You may also have a case if any terms of your contract were breached when you were let go.
Our attorneys are prepared to help determine whether any of your rights were violated under the state’s workers’ compensation law, including if you believe you were fired for filing a claim.
We may also determine whether you were wrongfully terminated according to the terms of your contract, if you have one, and may therefore have grounds for a civil case.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Your Workers' Comp Claim
Being fired for pursuing a workers’ compensation claim leaves you vulnerable just when you need your benefits most. Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to provide legal assistance whether you are pursuing an initial claim, if your claim has been denied, or if you have been illegally terminated for pursuing your benefits.
At Greg Coleman Law, we have obtained millions in compensation for injured victims throughout Tennessee, and we are prepared to help you pursue workers’ compensation benefits on your behalf. Find out if you may have a valid case by taking advantage of our free consultation. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay until the end of the claim, and only if we first help you to obtain the benefits you need.
Call: (865) 247-0080 today. FREE consultation.