If you have suffered an injury on the job, it is important to know if you will continue receiving your worker’s compensation benefits until you can return to work. However, what if your employer fires you? Does this mean that you will lose your benefits?
This is a concern for many employees, especially when jobs are few and far between. Sigman Janssen discusses what could happen in this type of situation. If you have been fired while collecting worker’s comp benefits, our firm is here to offer legal help.
We are available to take your call anytime, day or night. An initial consultation with an Appleton-based worker’s compensation lawyer comes at no cost or obligation to you.
Will I Lose My Benefits if I Get Fired?
Wisconsin law does not require employers to hold your job. If they need to fill your position while you are out recovering from a work-related injury, they are within their legal rights to do so. In these situations, your worker’s compensation benefits will likely continue.
However, an employer cannot fire you solely because of your work injury. This includes firing you as retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim. Filing a claim is completely within your rights. If you were fired through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive additional benefits.
Any employer, who without reasonable cause, refuses to rehire an employee injured during the course of his or her employment where suitable work is available – within his or her physical and mental limitations – is liable to pay wages worth up to one year of the employee’s salary. This is in accordance with Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Statute 102.35 (3).
However, if your employer had good reason to fire you, such as misconduct, your benefits may stop.
Unjustified Reasons for Employee Termination
Wisconsin is an at-will employment state. This means your employer has the right to terminate your position if he or she chooses to. Employees can also resign from their jobs for any or no reason.
There are, however, certain terminations that may be considered unjustified, such as being fired for:
- Notifying your employer that you suffered a work-related injury
- Filing a worker’s compensation claim within the time limit
- Obtaining a doctor’s note that excuses you from missing work
- Not continuing to work or taking a light-duty assignment that does not meet the restrictions set forth by your doctor
- Seeking legal advice for help with a worker’s compensation claim
In these situations, your worker’s comp benefits will likely continue. The only way you may lose out on benefits is if you were fired by your employer before you filed a claim or while it was still pending.
Acceptable Termination Reasons
There are also times when an employee is fired for acceptable reasons, which may include the following:
- Missing work without getting medical care following a work injury
- Failing to obtain a doctor’s note to excuse you from missing work
- Disregarding your doctor’s treatment plan while still missing work
- Refusing to take a light-duty assignment that meets your doctor’s restrictions
- Misusing work equipment or failing to comply with safety rules that caused your injury
- Working while under the influence or engaging in horseplay when injured on the job
There may be other legal or illegal reasons for terminating someone. If you think you have been fired by your employer solely because of your work injury, it is in your best interest to reach out to our firm today. We are well-versed in the rights and responsibilities of injured employees in the state of Wisconsin.
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney Today
Our attorneys at Sigman Janssen have decades of legal experience assisting injured employees to obtain the worker’s comp benefits they need. We are ready to help you file or appeal a denied claim on your behalf. We know what it takes to gather the evidence necessary to connect your injuries to your job.
There is no risk in calling our office to set a free consultation. This initial meeting comes with no obligation to move forward, but if you do, we charge no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid for handling and working on a case if we help you obtain benefits.
Free Case Review. Ph: (877) 888-5201