If I Hire an Attorney for Workers’ Compensation, Will I Get Fired?
Workers are often concerned about getting fired because they consulted or hired a lawyer to handle their worker’s compensation claim or personal injury claim. A smart employer will not fire you. Firstly, it is illegal for an employer to fire you for filing a claim or working with an attorney; secondly, termination will not affect your ability to receive worker’s compensation. This is considered wrongful termination and retaliation.
Life can be stressful after an injury, and you may worry that you’ll lose your job because you need to take off work. Moreover, you may be facing large medical bills, and you may have lost work income as well.
When you file for worker’s compensation, your employer receives notice. Part of the claim requires that your employer gives a position on the claim, whether they agree or disagree with the claim. Your employer will also find out whether or not you have an attorney. While it’s not possible to know how your employer will respond to your claim, by hiring a lawyer you show your employer that you’re serious.
In Florida, the worker’s compensation system is meant to be self-executing. This means an injured and eligible worker should receive medical care and lost wages from the worker’s compensation insurance company. Your situation may have other legal solutions as well.
Two Reasons Your Employer Won’t Fire You for Hiring an Attorney
1. It’s Illegal to “Retaliate”
If you can prove that your employer retaliated by terminating you for your work injury, that’s considered illegal action. Your employer doesn’t want to deal with those consequences from fines to other compensation.
2. You Know Your Rights
If you are willing to work with a lawyer, it’s clear that you are not likely to allow your employer to get away with other legal violations. Additional claims against your employer only lengthens the process. Most employers want to settle the claim quickly and move on.
3. It Hurts Your Employer’s Case
If you are fired by your employer after filing for worker’s compensation, this actually hurts your employer’s case more than yours. In fact, companies can decrease the money they pay in worker’s compensation if they bring you back to work. Firing you makes that impossible.
By law, an employer does not need to hold your job for you while you recover from injury. This may lead to termination; however, you should continue to receive worker’s compensation for your disability even after termination.
If your employer responds to your filing for worker’s compensation with harassment, pay decrease, or termination, you may have a case of retaliation. Work with a lawyer to determine the best steps to prove your case and receive the best legal solution available to you.
At Carrillo Personal Injury law firm, we are here for you. Contact us if you need help filing a worker’s compensation claim by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.