While terminating an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim is not outright prohibited, employers must take great care to avoid a situation where it is deemed that an employee was fired solely because of the workers’ compensation claim. Even if there are legitimate reasons for termination, any termination that occurs close on the heels of a workplace injury or illness could be viewed as discriminatory or retaliatory and could be considered wrongful termination. Employers must be able to prove that the work comp claim was not the reason for termination.
In a recent blog, East Coast Risk Management, a member of the Institute of WorkComp Professionals, outlines the potential penalties for wrongful termination and the factors employers need to carefully consider before terminating a worker on or returning from workers’ comp.
It’s important to note that retaliation for workers’ comp involves more than termination. Actions that can be construed as retaliation or discriminatory can include: