Unjust Termination of Employment as Retaliation for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to pay for the treatment of all injuries that you sustain while doing your job at your workplace, but in practice, employers look for ways to get out of paying, especially if your injuries are severe and their treatment is expensive. Sometimes employers just dispute the employee’s claim that the injury is work-related, such as by alleging that the employee’s back pain is not the result of the work accident, but rather from a car accident in which the employee was involved on a non-workday the previous year. In other cases, though, the employer simply fires the employee after he or she files a workers’ compensation claim that requires expensive treatment. Of course, the employer does not say outright that the workers’ compensation claim is the reason for terminating the worker’s employment. Instead, they make other excuses for firing the employee. If you think it is unfair that your employer fired you or laid you off shortly after you filed a workers’ compensation claim, it is not just your imagination. A South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can help you seek justice after having your employment unjustly terminated because of a work injury.
Philip and the Inefficient Bureaucracy
In 2000, Philip began working as a meat cutter in a public sector job for Manatee County. In November 2006, he accidentally injured his abdomen with a meat cutting knife and filed a workers’ compensation claim. He had suffered work injuries before and received workers’ compensation for them without disagreement with his employer, but this claim was much more expensive, because Philip developed a MRSA infection. By the time he reached maximum medical improvement, the workers’ compensation doctor determined that Philip was unable to return to work as a meat cutter and requested that the employer (the county) find a different position for him.
The county assigned Philip to an alternative job in the control room of the county jail. One day, shortly after he began working there, he told his supervisor that he had taken a prescription painkiller before reporting to work, as the workers’ compensation doctor instructed him to do. The supervisor told Philip to go home and not to come back to work until he had finished the course of prescribed painkillers. The employer then terminated Philip’s employment, citing this and another incident as “neglect of duties” on Philip’s part. The other incident was that Philip allegedly failed to provide the employer with a report from his doctor. In fact, Philip had tried to give the employer a copy of the report, but the employer had sent him on a wild goose chase of other entities to send it to, and in any case, it was the employer’s responsibility, not Philip’s, to request the report from the doctor. In his lawsuit, Philip alleged that the employer had used these incidents, which in any case did not constitute misconduct, as a pretext for terminating his employment and that the real reason for the termination was his workers’ compensation claim.
Contact Us Today for Help
If your employer fired you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, a Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer can help you. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for a consultation.