Can I Be Fired After Returning From A Work Injury?

A common concern of injured workers is that they’ll be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It’s important to know that Massachusetts is an at-will employment state, meaning your employer can terminate your employment at any time for any reason. However, it is illegal for your employer to fire you in retaliation because you repo6rted your work injury. If you have concerns about being fired, or you’ve been fired after filing for workers’ comp, it’s best to speak with a qualified workers’ comp attorney who can give you specific advice based on your case.

At-Will Employment

At-will employment means that your employer can fire you for any legal reason at any time. For example, employers can fire their employees based upon:

  • Previous work performance
  • Financial problems
  • Restructuring of the company
  • Any other legal reason

Legal Reasons for Termination After a Workplace Injury

When you return to work, or if you’re taking time off work to recover from your injuries, your employer is legally allowed to fire you at any time. But what are the legal reasons for termination? After you file your workers’ compensation claim, your employer can fire you for the following reasons:

  • Your workplace injury happened because you went against company policy
  • You were breaking the law at the time of your injury
  • Your employer can’t wait for you to return to work
  • Another position that accommodates your disability is not available
  • Changing your workspace to accommodate your disability would be too costly
  • You don’t have the physical ability required to perform job duties
  • Your employer simply does not like your work performance

Retaliation

It is illegal for your employer to terminate your employment because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. However, employers very rarely tell you that they’re firing you due to the workers’ comp claim, because they know that it’s illegal and that it opens them up to an employment discrimination lawsuit.

If you suspect that your employer has fired you in retaliation, you should try and gather as much evidence as possible. In order to win your case, you’ll need to prove that your employer fired you because of your work injury. Keep documentation, print emails, and save documents. It’s also important to talk to a qualified workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible since there are statutory limitations for filing a lawsuit against your employer.

Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Attorney

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, it’s possible for your employer to legally fire you. It’s not, however, legal for your employer to fire you just because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. If you think you’ve been discriminated against, speak with one of our workers’ comp lawyers at Powers & Caccavale.  Fill out our free case evaluation or call us at (617) 379-0016 to learn more about your options.

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