Can I Get Fired for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
A workers’ comp claim is an important aspect of employment. When a workplace accident happens, an employer is not required to keep the position open while the injured worker recovers. However, some protections prevent employers from firing injured parties because they filed a workers’ comp claim. If you think your employer fired you because you exercised your rights to your benefits, then you’re a victim of wrongful termination.
In this article, the Waple and Houk workers’ compensation lawyers will explain what wrongful termination is. You will also gain insight into what you can do after a wrongful termination and the compensation you can get.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
At-will employment means employers can employ and dismiss when they want and for any reason. However, the US Equal Opportunity Commission listed the top reasons your employer cannot simply fire you. If your employers fire you for any of these reasons, then you can sue them for wrongful termination or discrimination. In addition, terminating someone for filing a workers’ comp claim is retaliation and is illegal.
However, in wrongful termination, you still have to prove your employer’s motivation. Employers can claim they fired you for a host of other reasons rather than as retaliation for your workers’ comp claim. That’s where a skilled workers’ comp lawyer enters the picture. Our professional lawyers can help prove that your employer is guilty of wrongful termination.
How Can You Prove You’re a Victim of Wrongful Termination?
If you want to prove that you are a victim of wrongful termination, you need evidence. If you’re right, then you could receive compensation for wrongful termination. Additionally, this action will prevent your employer from wrongfully terminating other employees in the future.
To prove you’re a victim of wrongful termination, these factors are essential:
- Timing: If you were fired within weeks or days after you filed for a workers’ compensation claim, then chances are it was retaliation.
- Ambiguous Reason: If the reasons are unclear or continue to change, then you’re likely a victim of wrongful termination.
- No Problems With Your Work Record: If you never had a history of poor work, disciplinary issues, or underperformance, then you could file for wrongful termination.
- Manager’s Attitude: If supervisors or managers act strangely, it’s another telling sign your employer fired you because of your workers’ comp claim. If they’re hostile to you and towards your inquiry, it could be proof you’re a victim of wrongful termination.
Step to Take After a Wrongful Termination
If you strongly believe you’re a victim of wrongful termination and have evidence supporting your claims, you can file a lawsuit against your employer. This lawsuit is for breach of employment contract, and you could receive compensation. Below are the steps to take after a wrongful termination.
Determine Reason for Wrongful Termination After a Workers’ Comp Claim Filing
For you to successfully file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer, you need to know the reason why. In your case, the reason would be because of your workers’ comp claim. Unfortunately, North Carolina is under an at-will employment state, so this could be tricky. However, a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer will carry out a thorough investigation to prove your reason.
Also, you will need to collect evidence that proves that you’re a victim of wrongful termination. Employers never admit that they acted with illegal intentions, so you need to gather ample evidence to prove it is so. For example, you could provide proof that your employer has a discrimination track record. It also counts if they fired anyone like you previously or if their reasons don’t hold up.
Compensation You Can Receive When You Win Wrongful Termination Case
If you win your wrongful termination lawsuit, then you could receive compensation. Compensation usually includes lost pay, lost benefits like medical insurance, profits, stock options, and pensions. You could also receive compensation for economic damages like medical and job search costs. Sometimes, you could file for noneconomic damages like emotional distress and receive payment.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Claim Lawyer Today for Your Wrongful Termination Case
Filing for wrongful termination can be stressful and requires thorough investigation. The attorneys at Waple and Houk have years of experience handling these cases and will develop legal arguments to give you the best chances in court. If you’re a victim of wrongful termination because you filed for a workers’ comp claim, you should contact us today. Our experienced workers’ comp lawyers know the proper questions to ask to unearth evidence of your employers’ wrongdoings.