Filing a workers’ compensation claim for an injury or illness suffered on the job is within your rights as an employee. Most companies are required by law to provide their employees with this type of insurance, so injured workers don’t have to worry about finding ways to pay the bills while they recover.
Sometimes, though, you lose a job while you’re collecting workers’ compensation. Today, we want to look at what happens if that comes to pass.
Can I still get workers’ comp if I lose my job?
Yes, you can. If you get fired or laid off, you can still collect workers’ compensation. Benefits only stop when a doctor determines you can return to work or if it is discovered that your claim was fraudulent.
Can I even BE fired while receiving workers’ compensation?
Yes – it is possible for you to be fired while receiving workers’ compensation. Tennessee is an at-will state, so it’s legal for an employer to fire an employee you for any reason, and usually without warning. Usually, employers fire workers who are receiving workers’ compensation because they cannot wait any longer for the employees to return to work.
There are exceptions, though. It could be illegal if you have a union agreement in place, or if you have some type of employment contract in place that prohibits your employer from doing so.
Your employer is also not allowed to fire you BECAUSE you filed for workers’ compensation. Getting injured on the job and collecting the benefits you are entitled to receive is not a legal reason to fire an employee.
What do I do if I get fired while on workers’ compensation?
You can look for another job, if you like, but you should seek advice from your doctor, first. You don’t want to accept a job that you cannot do, because that could cost you your benefits. If you think you were wrongfully terminated, you should speak with an attorney. You might be able to get your job back.
In Tennessee, being relieved of your duties for filing a workers’ compensation claim is illegal, but getting fired for another reason isn’t. A Nashville workers’ compensation lawyer can help you make a case against your former employer if you were wrongfully terminated, and help you protect your right to collect benefits. Call Rocky McElhaney Law Firm at 615-425-2500 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation at one of our offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Knoxville.