We hear this from a lot of injured workers who contact us about a work injury. A work injury doesn’t give an injured worker carte blanche to ignore the legitimate workplace rules that apply to all employees assuming they are applied equally to all employees. However, the reality is it isn’t in the best interests of employers to fire injured workers.
On top of it likely having adverse side effects for the workers’ compensation claim in a number of respects it also has potentially negative consequences in other forums.
If wages are reduced, you are demoted or terminated you may be able to sue your employer for retaliatory discrimination in a civil court outside of any workers’ compensation claim.
First, it may subject the employer to a disability discrimination claim. Sometimes employers fire a worker who can’t perform the work without making any effort at a reasonable accommodation or waiting until they heal from a work injury.
Second, there is now a civil claim for employees against their employer for terminations, demotions, etc. relating to their filing a worker’s compensation claim. If wages are reduced, you are demoted or terminated you may be able to sue your employer for retaliatory discrimination in a civil court outside of any workers’ compensation claim. While we can understand the concerns of injured workers in this respect, the advice of an experienced attorney can help reduce the risk of terminations when issues come up at work.