A common fear many injured workers have is that filing a workers’ comp claim could put their job in jeopardy. Maybe this has already been implied to them by their boss, or perhaps they’re just considering it before they take action. Some employees may think that filing a claim will create a financial responsibility for the employer, who will simply shirk that responsibility by firing them and replacing them with someone else.
It’s understandable that you’d be concerned about this. Your job is your livelihood. Plus, you have medical bills to pay. But is your fear rationale? Do you really need to worry about being fired if you try to get the compensation you need and deserve?
No. Here’s why.
Retaliation is illegal
First and foremost, it is illegal for any employer to retaliate against a worker for filing a workers’ comp claim – or firing that worker. You cannot be terminated from your position for getting hurt on the job and seeking your rightful benefits.
The workers’ comp system is generally set up as a quid pro quo. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs associated with an injured employee. In exchange, the employee agrees not to sue the employer in court for injuries sustained on the job.
Firing you would undercut this agreement. You can’t sue your employer in court for workplace injuries yet your employer refuses to provide you benefits? No. That’s why such actions are illegal.
Consider your options
If you’re still nervous that your boss may take action against you, or if you just want to make sure that you get all the details, documents and processes right, look into seeking guidance from a legal advocate.