You should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately if your employer fired you after a work injury in Virginia. 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 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.
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 our practiced workers’ compensation attorneys today to discuss your case – we’ll inform you of your legal rights and options!