Question: Can my employer fire me for reporting an on-the-job injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Answer: The short answer is absolutely not!
It’s illegal in Tennessee (and elsewhere) for an employer to fire an employee for any work-related injury.
Unfortunately, though, it still happens all the time. Our workers’ comp attorneys meet clients on a regular basis who made a workers’ comp claim and then found themselves unemployed. The betrayal of being fired for an injury at work is typically shocking, and perhaps some employees decide not to pursue it any further because of fear or frustration. Otherwise, there would be no good reason for an employer to behave in such a blatantly discriminatory way.
The good news is that federal and state laws are on the employee’s side in this case. In general, Tennessee law allows employers to fire people relatively easily – they don’t need any particular cause. On-the-job injury is an exception to that rule. When an employer fires someone for being injured on the job, it becomes an offshoot of workers’ comp law called “retaliatory discharge.” Retaliatory discharge laws protect employees from being fired for exercising their rights, including filing a workers’ comp claim.
If you’ve been injured on the job and were wrongfully terminated, an attorney can help you pursue damages for your losses. Among other things, those damages might include:
- Back pay
- Medical expense coverage
- Future pay
Our Memphis workers’ comp attorneys deal with this issue all the time and would be glad to help you figure out your options, at no cost to you. Contact us online or give us a call at 901-327-1212 to get started.
(Photo by Kevin Tuck)