Injured at Work Then Fired?
Your Rights if Fired After a Virginia Work Injury
You should contact a lawyer immediately if your employer fired you after
a work injury. This may be grounds for a wrongful termination suit.
Anyone who is injured at work must report that injury to their employer
within 30 days, and should also file a claim directly with the Virginia
Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your employer is obligated to respond to your request for medical treatment under
workers’ compensation insurance. If they ignore your request or you are fired, you should contact
the Commission at 1-877-664-2566. Your employer’s noncompliance
means that your case will likely go to a hearing.
Benefits Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act
Benefits for injured workers in Virginia include:
- Wage Replacement
- Lifetime Medical Benefits
- Permanent Partial Impairment
- Permanent and Total Disability
- Death Benefits
- Cost of Living Increase
- Vocational Rehabilitation
Even if employees are injured to the point that they cannot return to regular
work, employers should give the injured worker a light duty job at a lower
wage, if possible.
Any employee who feels they have been discriminated against because of
a disability may be protected by federal discrimination laws. These types
of cases are filed with the Division of Human Rights of the Office of
the Attorney General of Virginia. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), no employer can
discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of disability
by discharging them. The term "qualified individual" refers
to any employee who can perform the necessary functions of the employment
position in question.
If a worker is injured and they can no longer perform the necessary functions
of their employment position or a “light duty” job, they would
likely qualify for permanent and total disability and not be able to return
to work. They should not, however, be fired if they are rightfully entitled
to workers’ compensation benefits.
Contacting a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The Richmond-based law firm of Harbison & Kavanagh may be able to help
you if you were wrongfully terminated after filing for workers’
compensation benefits. We invite you to contact us today to discuss your
case – we’ll inform you of your legal rights and options!