If you have been injured on the job, you may be wondering if you can legally be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
It is illegal to fire an employee because he or she filed a workers’ compensation claim. If you have lost your job solely because you filed for workers’ compensation, you could be entitled to compensation.
Unfortunately, it might be difficult to prove you were fired only because of your claim. The timing might be suspicious, but if your employer has an unrelated reason to terminate you, it could justify their actions despite your claim.
Can you legally be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim? Here’s what you need to know.
Maryland is an “at-will” employment state. This means that employers can terminate an employee at any time and for any reason. This is true as long as it is not illegal or discriminatory.
However, there are exceptions to this rule.
In many cases, an employer cannot fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim because doing so is considered retaliatory termination. This is illegal. Make sure you understand the laws in Maryland or where you work before making any decisions about filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Union and Civil Employees
Some employees are also protected from being terminated without cause by their employer. For example, public employees and union members. Public employees typically enjoy job security under civil service laws. Likewise, union members are often protected by collective bargaining agreements. These agreements outline their rights and obligations as well as their employer’s rights and obligations when it comes to termination policies.
In addition to at-will employment protections for certain categories, there are also statutory protections in place for all employees in most states that prevent employers from firing someone due to their workers’ compensation claim.
Most states also have statutes in place which prohibit employers from retaliating against employees. Not only are they protected for filing a claim, but they’re also protected if they report violations of safety regulations or file complaints about workplace safety issues with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This is true even if nobody is injured.
Were You Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Before making any decisions about whether or not to file a claim, you should consult with an attorney. Look for someone in your area who is familiar with your state’s labor laws. They can advise you on how best to proceed to protect yourself and your job security. Knowing your rights can help you receive the full benefits due to you.
To learn more about the protections you enjoy related to workers’ compensation or to schedule a consultation, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.