While an employer can fire an employee for almost any reason, they are not allowed to fire an employee for filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Under the law, employees hurt on the job are protected and may have a case for retaliation if wrongfully terminated for this reason. The experienced lawyers at Harbison & Kavanagh have defended many clients against wrongful termination for filing a workers’ compensation claim and recommend that you do the following if the same situation is happening to you.
Indicators of Wrongful Termination
Employers rarely tell their employees that they are being fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim because they know it is against the law to do so. Therefore, they usually find a different pretense to wrongfully terminate the client. If you are finding it difficult to determine whether you are being wrongfully terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim, look for the following signs:
- Were you fired within days or weeks of filing your claim?
- Did you receive negative comments about your claim from supervisors?
- Were you given a clear reason for your termination?
Being terminated shortly after firing a claim, hearing negative comments or receiving pressure from management about your workers’ compensation claim, or were given vague and unclear reasons for your termination are all potential signs that you were wrongfully terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Collecting documentation of the wrongful termination is critical to proving that you were wrongfully terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Collect and make copies of any letters, emails, or text messages that pertain to the issue. In addition, record the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen or heard anything that backs up your claim that your employer fired you for filing for workers’ compensation. Finally, obtain copies of your medical records and any documentation from medical professionals that have been working with you throughout your recovery. If your employer fired you because he did not want to accommodate a permanent work restriction or other workers’ compensation reason, this documentation can be very helpful for a future case.
Hire a Lawyer
It is vital that you hire a lawyer as soon as you believe that you are being retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim. An experienced attorney can protect your rights and can start building a case against your employer. In addition, a lawyer can ensure that you do not make any statements against your best interests to an investigator or other official, and an attorney can navigate the complex legal process of filing a case while you focus on your recovery.
Time is not on your side if you believe that you were wrongfully terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Known as the statute of limitations, you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit against your employer before the court can throw out the case. Under Virginia law, the statute of limitations for wrongful termination is two years from the date of the termination.
Call Our Office Today for Help Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you believe that you were retaliated against and wrongfully terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim in the Richmond area, the experienced attorneys at Harbison & Kavanagh may be able to help. Call the office now or contact us today to schedule an appointment to review your case.