The good news is that when you file a claim for workers’ compensation, your employer cannot legally retaliate against you as a response for filing the claim. Just because you were injured and it forced them to use their workers’ compensation insurance, they can’t fire you. The bad news, however, is that proving your employer fired you directly as punishment for filing a workers’ comp claim can be difficult. You’ll need to organize evidence to show you followed your doctors’ instructions and kept your employer updated regularly. If you did everything you were expected to do and still were laid off, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Wrongful termination is a big deal, and the sooner you work with a workers’ compensation attorney to fight it, the sooner you can get back on your feet.
Can I Get Fired for Reasons Unrelated to My Workers’ Comp Claim?
Mississippi is an at-will employment state. That means you are free to quit a job with or without a reason. That said, it also means an employer can fire you with or without a reason. Your employer can and likely will take your performance prior to your injury into consideration. If you were regularly late to work or missed shifts, your employer may see that as a reason to fire you. They can fire you for any reason NOT related to your injury. If your termination is likely unrelated to your injuries, it could be legal. If you’re questioning the validity of your termination, your best move is to sit down with a workers’ compensation attorney who can help you figure out your options.
Will I Lose My Workers’ Comp Claim if I’m Fired?
Fortunately, even if you get fired, you won’t lose your workers’ compensation claim and the benefits you receive from it. You will continue to receive the benefits until your physician approves your return to work. This rule remains in effect regardless of the reason your employer gave for firing you. In the same vein, if you’re laid off you should receive the same severance package as the other employees being affected by the layoffs. If your employer attempts to stop your benefits upon your termination or deny you a severance package, speak to a workers’ compensation attorney before responding.
What Should I Do if I Was Fired for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you’ve been unjustly fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, do not just accept it and look for a new job. Fight for your rights! Reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for a free consultation about helping to best present your case. Rundlett Law Firm, PLLC is proud to help workers in Clinton and across Mississippi get the justice they deserve. Call today at 601-353-8504 and let us work hard to preserve your rights.