Workplace injuries can have a serious impact on your daily life as well as your ability to do your job. Thankfully, many people are entitled to workers' compensation benefits following an injury that affects your ability to work. These benefits are an essential part of many people’s recovery and help with an eventual return to work. The team at Foley Law Firm can assist you with all sorts of issues related to workers’ compensation.
Right now, our Scranton, PA attorneys would like to consider your legal rights if you are let go from your job while you are collecting workers’ compensation benefits.
Losing Your Job While Collecting Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is meant to help you recover and return to work, yet some employers fire their employees before they are given a chance to get back to their normal job duties. This should never be acceptable, especially if the employee has performed well in their job otherwise.
If employers are trying to cut corners on costs or are displaying discrimination against an employee following a serious injury, this could wind up being a case of wrongful termination or retaliatory discharge.
An Example of This Instance from 2013
In a post at the blog Tort Talk, there’s a detailed recount of a case involving Sandvik Materials Technology. The company laid off an employee who was injured and collecting workers’ compensation. While the plaintiff in this case was limited in his abilities as he was recovering, he was willing to work part-time hours for his employer. The employer never indicated that there were problems with this employee prior to the injury.
The judge in the case ultimately found on the behalf of the plaintiff, citing collateral estoppel with regard to the initial finding by a workers’ compensation judge.
Signs of Wrongful Termination and Retaliation
There are some telltale signs of retaliatory discharge that you should look out for. Consider this a checklist and see if it applies to your case:
- The worker was eligible for workers' compensation
- The worker filed a workers' compensation claim or started the process
- The employer fired or threatened to fire the injured worker
- The termination was the result of the employee seeking workers' compensation
What If I Was Fired Before the Claim Was Filed?
Even if you were fired before the workers’ compensation claim was filed, you may still have legal recourse. It would have to be proved that the employer laid off an employee because the employee was injured, and that the termination was intended to prevent the filing or a workers’ compensation claim.
Our Attorneys Can Offer Valuable Insight
Workers’ compensation and wrongful termination matters can be complicated, requiring great insight into Pennsylvania employment law and work injury litigation. It’s crucial that you speak with one of our attorneys about your case. We can discuss your legal rights and options in more detail, and let you know what your next step should be in seeking legal action against the offending company
Learn More About Your Legal Options
To learn more about your legal rights and protections when it comes to injuries at the workplace or that affect your ability to work, be sure to contact our team of workers’ compensation attorneys. The team at Foley Law Firm is here to help. You can call our Scranton office at (570) 342-8194 and our office in Stroudsburg at (570) 424-1757.