If you're off work and receiving workers compensation benefits, can your employer terminate your employment? Well there is no simple answer to this. You cannot be fired simply because you have put in a claim for compensation, however you can be fired for other reasons while you are on leave awaiting the outcome of your workers compensation claim. If you need help dealing with a termination during this period it's a good idea to get in touch with a St Louis work injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will be able to give you good, reliable advice as to how to proceed and deal with this situation.
Should you avoid filing a compensation claim to avoid losing your job as a result?
No. You may feel that it would simply be easier and in your benefit to not file a claim for compensation but instead to rely on your own health insurance or use your sick days and other work benefits to get over your injury or illness. The problem is that when you seek medical help for your problem, your doctor may well ask if the injury is work related. In this case they will then bill the insurance provider of your employer. This puts you in the position where you have no choice. You will have to file a claim for compensation.
You can still lose your job while on compensation leave
While you cannot be fired simply for putting in a claim for compensation, you can be fired for another reason, as long as it is not related. If you feel your employment was terminated because of your claim and not for the stated reasons, you will have to prove this. An experienced workers comp attorney will closely examine all the documentation and help you with this. Your employer will need to prove that you performed badly at your job before the accident or you had a bad attendance record. If the claims are actually true then they may be within their legal rights to fire you. The problem is, when you are off work seeking a compensation claim, an employer may look for any reason at all to get rid of you. Otherwise they are legally required to keep your job open for you until you have recovered. This is something many employers are not happy about. They simply can't permanently replace you.
Only when it is decided by a medical professional that you cannot return to work due to your illness or injury can your employer terminate your employment. They may offer you another position. For example if you cannot stand for long periods but your work involved a lot of walking then they may offer you an office position. This is entirely up to your employer though. There is no legal requirement for them to do this.
If you have been injured on the job, it is in your best interest to speak with a workers compensation as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected. Call (314) 361-4300 for a free case evaluation.