If you have been out of work and receiving workers compensation benefits, you may wonder if your employer has the right or ability to terminate your employment. An example would be a roofer who was injured and as a result, out for several months. After a period of two months, his employer lets him know he has been terminated for economic business reasons. When this happens, the worker is going to be upset and wonder if this is legal.
Termination and Workers Compensation: What the L-aw Says
The fact is, under the Florida Workers Compensation Act, there is no provision that makes it required for an employer to keep a position open for an employee who was injured and out of work on workers compensation benefits. However, the carrier or employer (in most cases) will be required to continue paying any lost wage benefits while the individual is completely or temporarily disabled.
However, if the employee has been terminated for exercising their rights according to the Act, they may have a coercion claim, or a private cause of action for being wrongfully terminated.
The Requirement to Hold a Worker’s Job while they Receive Workers Compensation
When you are out of work and receiving workers compensation benefits, it means you are in a temporary partial disability capacity or in a temporary total disability capacity. An employer isn’t required to keep a position open for injured workers because they are receiving workers compensation. This question is one that can get much more complicated when dealing with light duty and if wage loss is attributable to the injury that occurred.
The main question is if the injured worker is terminated, are they still going to be able to receive wage loss benefits from the workers compensation insurance provider. In most cases, the answer to this is going to be “yes.” The insurance company is going to be required to keep paying the disability benefits until the person who was injured reaches the maximum medical improvement state.
Keep in mind, these cases are often fact specific and can vary based on a number of factors. As a result, if you have any questions related to entitlement and if you can keep receiving benefits while on workers comp, or if you have been terminated, it is best to contact an attorney. They can review the facts related to your situation and determine what rights you have and whether or not your employer has acted in a manner that does not coincide with the Act.
If you are on workers compensation and believe that you have been illegally terminated, it is a good idea to contact an attorney right away. More information about these cases can be found by contacting the lawyers from the Law Office of Sternberg & Associates by calling 561-687-5660.