The short answer to this question is yes. Your employer cannot fire you just for filing a workers’ compensation claim, however, they can fire you if you cannot perform your job. Unless you are a member of a union or are have an employment contract (a very rare situation), your employer can terminate you if you cannot perform the physical requirements of your job. This is subject to the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA is separate from workers’ compensation and allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave due to a serious health condition. During this time your employer will hold your job for you. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about FMLA and your workers’ compensation benefits.
This is not all bad news. If your employer fires you it can have a significant impact on your workers’ compensation case, specifically your settlement amount. Your settlement will be based in part on your loss of earning capacity resulting from your injury, and the fact that your employer can no longer employ you because of your injury can increase your final settlement. If your employer fires you, or if you have the feeling you will be terminated, you should contact an attorney.