First of all, let’s start off with this – it is illegal to fire an employee simply for the reason that they were pursuing a worker’s compensation claim. However, you can get fired while on worker’s compensation and it is completely legal. They can fire you due to previous work performance or simply because they need to downsize. In other words, the firing would have happened with or without your injury. However, what then? What happens to your worker’s compensation?
The good news is that if you are receiving medical care for a work related injury, even if you screwed up relatively bad and got fired, you won’t lose your benefits. Furthermore, getting fired before you can file worker’s compensation doesn’t lock you out from filing for a settlement either. Even if you take your time to heal, so long as you file before the statute of limitations runs out, you can still receive worker’s compensation from your employer, or rather, ex-employer.
However, the real trouble comes from if you return to work after an injury, but have restrictions. If you can’t return to your normal job, your employer should try to find a position for you, but they are under no obligation to create a position just for you. They can let you go because you can no longer do your job. If this happens, then you are supposed to be paid TTD benefits until you have no restrictions at all, even though this can take a long time for the restrictions to be lifted. If you were let go because of restrictions, there is no guarantee your job will be there when you get back. If it takes a long time to recover, it is understandable that they need someone to do your job.
However, if you restrictions are permanent, then there might be no hope of getting your former job back. It is best to accept this and move on, looking for something that is within your restrictions. Your insurance company may even be able to help you find new work through what is called vocational rehabilitation. This means either finding you a new job or providing you with the education for a new line of work. During this time where you are finding new work, they also have to pay you maintenance benefits, which is very similar to TTD benefits.
No matter what the circumstances were behind you getting fired from your job, the main point is to not give up hope. There are a lot of jobs out there, even if you have a permanent disability. Furthermore, if you do believe you were fired for filing worker’s compensation, you can wield legal action that can get you thousands of dollars for it. However, more often than not, you will want to focus on simply letting it go and moving on. Through the advice of a skilled attorney as well as your insurance company, you can make sure that your injuries are covered and can even get help finding a new job. Try not to think of it as an ending, but rather a new beginning.
If you have been hurt at work, don’t just try to walk it off. Worker’s compensation is there to cover injured workers, so don’t be afraid to file a claim to cover your medical bills. However, filing for worker’s compensation can be complicated and you will want a great worker’s compensation lawyer at your side. If you are one of Minnesota’s injured workers, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Joshua Borken can do to help you get the benefits that your injury deserves.