In a previous post I discussed a common question I get asked as a Workers’ Compensation attorney: “can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?” In this post, I will explore this possibility a little further.
Another scenario is the employee who returns to work after a work injury and a course of medical treatment with permanent work restrictions. If the employee can no longer perform the job that he or she was hired to do, the employer can terminate the employment. Yes, it is true that the employer has to provide “reasonable accommodations” under the ADA if you suffer from a disability. First, this only applies to employers with 15 or more full time employees and second, an employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation if it creates undue hardship for the employer. Examples of an undue hardship include the cost of the accommodation, financial resources of the employer and the type of operation. It probably sounds unfair that your employer doesn’t automatically have to accommodate your restrictions when the accident happened while you were working. Many employees feel that their employer should be held responsible and required to make accommodations to keep them employed. Unfortunately, in general, the employer does not have a legal obligation to find work for you to do within your restrictions.
If you are concerned that your employer is going to terminate your employment, if you feel they are already looking for a reason to let you go, and you are now afraid to file a claim for workers’ compensation, don’t let that fear stop you from collecting a benefit that you are entitled to under the law. Consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney is free. If you have any questions about your rights when you are hurt at work, make an appointment and meet with an attorney right away.