Can I Be Fired For A Work Injury?

Workers’Compensation Claim AttorneyWorkplace injuries are a common basis for employee liability claims. Employees who have been fired as result of an injury, face a legal challenge that often requires professional legal consul. Lawsuits filed against employers by terminated employees injured on the job in Florida, are disputes surrounding alleged employer violations of federal Occupation Safety and Health Act (ASHA)regulatory standards to workplace safety. Employment litigation lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming pursuits for both sides of an injury dispute. Employers found to not be in adherence with federal rules of workplace safety, are especially vulnerable to the detriments of lawsuit should a case be decided in a plaintiff’s favor. When a workplace injury leads to legal dispute after an employee is terminated, parties can seek professional legal advice from a licensed Florida attorney with a practice in employment law.

Workers’ Compensation Leave

If an employee has been injured on the job and subsequently fired by an employer, the latter can be held liable for the costs of medical treatment, as well as an employee’s time-off of work if not insured by workers’ compensation. In Florida, employee medical leave post-injury is an employment right. workers’ compensation benefits cover an injured employee for medical expenses and time-off of work. Compliance with federal and state workers’ compensation rules exhibits that an employer has upheld their obligation to an injured employee. Lump sum settlements sought by an employee from an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, must be approved in court by a Judge of Compensation Claims. 

Filing a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in Florida

Establishing grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit in Florida requires that a firing circumstance violated an employee’s contract with a breach not covered by “at will” rules to employment. In “at will” states, employees can be fired at any time, and for no codified reason. Exceptions to Florida “at will” rules, is an employer firing of an employee for discriminatory reasons; retaliation; time off work for civic duties, family medical leave, and military obligation; and workers’ compensation claims.

Discrimination on basis of race, gender, age, national origin, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, marital status, HIV/AIDS, or sickle cell trait, or other protected class of an employee by an employer, is a civil rights violation and an express breach of employment contract under Florida Title XLIV rules. Employees working on “at will” contracted fired from employment, also citing on the job injuries can file a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which investigate complaints of unfair employment practices. Whistle blower complaints associated with injuries on the job, are valid EEOC and workers’ compensation claims that may result in litigation.

Termination of an employee for extended time off work post-injury sustained on the job, that is on workers’ compensation record, is a violation of Florida law. Employees who have been fired for medical leave while on workers’ compensation for an injury case can seek damages in court. A licensed attorney experienced in employment law and workers’ compensation claims can provide the counsel required to file a lawsuit. Scott J. Sternberg & Associates, P.A. is a licensed attorney practice specializing in workplace injury claims in Florida.

Additional Reading:

If You Have Suffered an Injury on the Job, What are Your Next Steps?

In You Fall from an Unknown Cause at Work, are You Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

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