In the aftermath of an injury on the job, people may worry about how filing for workers’ compensation benefits may affect their employment. Common concerns include the possibility that an employer will retaliate and a job will be in jeopardy.
State and federal regulations about workers’ compensation prohibit adverse action against workers. There are several important legal protections that claimants should be aware of.
Your employer does not determine eligibility
Employers have a statutory obligation to provide workers’ compensation coverage to all employees who are eligible. An insurer, rather than an employer, makes the determination if a medical condition falls within the scope of your coverage.
Benefits cannot compromise employment
State law makes clear that employers cannot terminate an employee for seeking benefits. While you are recovering from an injury, an employer cannot fire you simply for making a claim or needing time to recover. However, employers could lawfully terminate an employee who is receiving workers’ compensation benefits if they have an unrelated and valid basis to do so.
You can receive compensation for lost wages
If you are temporarily unable to work, an insurer can provide you with compensation for up to two-thirds of your wages. If you continue receiving medical care after your return, the program will compensate you for time away from work for medical appointments.
The state’s workers’ compensation program is in place to help workers recover from their injuries and continue working. Ultimately, it is important that people utilize the benefits that they need without fear of retribution from employers.