Many people want to file a workers’ compensation claim but fear retaliation from their boss. If you were injured at work, you might be wondering: Can an employer fire you for filing workers’ comp?
In short, no, your employer cannot legally fire you simply for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Keep reading to learn more about how the system protects you from this happening.
Employer’s rights under New York workers’ compensation laws
Under New York law, retaliating against an employee for filing a workers comp claim is prohibited.
To make it more clear, Section 120 of the New York Workers’ Comp law makes it illegal to fire an employee just because they filed a workers comp claim. It’s also illegal for your boss to not reinstate you due to you filing a claim if you’ve taken a break from work because of your accident or injury.
If this happens and you believe that this was an act of retaliation by your employer for filing, report this as a discrimination complaint. You must file a complaint about their discrimination and retaliation within two years for the complaint to be considered.
Under New York law, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation if you have an accident, are injured, or contract an illness at work because of your job duties. If your employer tries to punish you for exercising your right to seek compensation for a work-related injury.
Workers’ compensation laws protect employees who are injured because of their jobs. Before these laws were in place, workers had to sue their employers and hopefully win compensation for their injury or accident.
Now, because of workers’ compensation laws, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. Any employee that is injured can file a claim to receive compensation. You have a right to workers’ compensation under the law. Any retaliation directed at you from your employer after you file a workers’ compensation claim is illegal and an infringement on your rights.
If you are being discriminated against or fired after filing a claim, report your employer.
Understanding the legalities of being fired
All that being said, being fired after filing for workers’ compensation isn’t always retaliation. It is possible – and legal – for your employer to fire you while your workers’ compensation case is still active or pending if they are unable to wait for you to heal and return to work.
With national labor shortages, some employers may not be financially able to maintain you and may therefore need to hire a replacement.
While this situation is not ideal, it does not mean your employer did something illegal. It is legal and acceptable for an employer to fire an employee with an active workers’ compensation claim if they cannot wait for the employee to return to work as long as it does not break an employment contract or union bargain.
What makes a firing illegal is if the employer fires you just because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Our New York workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to help
An employer can’t fire you for filing workers’ comp, but they do sometimes try. If you’ve filed or are going to file for workers’ compensation and are afraid that you will lose your job, The Weinstein Law Group can help.
Our New York workers’ compensation lawyers have the experience and grit it takes to win your case. We take our clients’ cases very seriously and are here to help. Workers’ comp claims and everything that comes along with them can be confusing and overwhelming. The last thing you need while recovering from an injury is to be overwhelmed by legal issues.
With us, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Let us help you!
The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at The Weinstein Law Group offer free initial consultations. Contact us at (212) 741-3800.