You might be hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim if you’ve been hurt on the job. People in this position are frequently concerned about losing their jobs. Rather than submitting a claim, people may choose to use sick time or vacation days to recover from their injuries in the hopes of returning to work without missing a beat.
Another possibility is that your employer expressly requests that you not submit a claim because they are concerned about an OSHA violation or an increase in insurance prices.
We understand how stressful this scenario is. You’re striving to heal and recover from an injury on the one hand. At the same time, you’re concerned about your professional future.
We’ll go over where the law protects you and where it may fall short in preserving your job in this post.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is an at-will employment state.
Employers in Virginia have the right to fire an employee for any reason unless it is prohibited. This rule may appear severe, but it also serves to preserve an employee’s right to privacy. You, like your employer, have the right to fire you at any time.
However, there is a long range of prohibited reasons, including discrimination, public policy violations, and retribution for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
What Happens If I’m Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Despite the fact that Virginia law recognizes at-will employment, it has been determined that terminating an employee in retribution for filing a workers’ compensation claim is prohibited. If you were dismissed as a result of making a claim, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. If this is the case, an attorney can assist you.
Is My Job Safe Now That I’ve Been Injured?
Even while you can’t be fired for submitting a claim, your employer does have some leeway in how they handle the situation. To begin with, they are not bound to keep your job while you are on leave. After all, your employer has a business to run and will need to hire someone to take over your responsibilities. This implies that when you return, you may find yourself in a new position.
Another thing to bear in mind is that if you are unable to fulfill the fundamental functions of your job, you may be fired. This makes sense from an employer’s perspective because it’s impossible to pay you for tasks you can’t do.
The good news is that your benefits will remain even if you are unable to return to full-time employment. Your doctor will continue to treat you until you have fully healed or received all necessary medical treatment. Furthermore, if you are unable to return to your previous duties, your benefits include training and education to enable you to get qualifications for a new position.
Suggestions for a Successful Result
Even though you cannot be dismissed as a result of your accident and subsequent claim, employers may use deception to make your situation worse. You might, for example, be demoted as a result of your allegation. Demotions that are retaliatory are likewise illegal, just like firings.
In this case, an attorney can assist you. While getting your work back may not be an option, filing a wrongful termination lawsuit may be.
In this situation, we also remind staff that communication is crucial. Keep your workplace informed about your progress and send any essential papers to ensure that your supervisor or human resources department gets the most up-to-date information on your medical condition. This proactive communication can build goodwill and encourage your employer to go above and above what is necessary by law to accommodate you.
If you’ve been fired or have questions regarding a workers’ compensation claim, please contact us.
Employers who terminate employees merely because they filed a Workers’ Compensation Commission claim should be held accountable for their unethical business practices. Do not attempt to handle Virginia’s complicated workers’ compensation rules on your own.
You can receive the aid you need and boost your chances of a positive conclusion by enlisting the help of an expert attorney. For a free consultation, please contact us immediately.