Can You Be Fired While On Workers’ Comp In Massachusetts?
Answer: Yes, you can be fired or released from work by your employer while still on workers’ compensation in Massachusetts. However, you should still continue to receive compensation benefits as long as you continue to qualify for them. Qualification is dependent on your health and injury status. You need to be temporarily disabled or require some medical treatment related to your workplace accident. What your employer can’t do is fire you as retaliation for filing your injury claim. If they do, you should consider filing an employment discrimination lawsuit.
It Trickles Down To Your Employment Type
There are two types of employments; at-will and contractual. At-will employment means that your employer can let you go for any or no reason at all. Some common reasons behind termination include financial problems, poor employee performance, or legal reasons.
Contractually employed people, on the other hand, usually have employment termination clauses in their contracts. For instance, the clause might state that the employee will be let go if they can’t show up for work for a specific time period, like six months. However, most employees will use these reasons to hide the fact that they are firing as retaliation for your claim. If you suspect this is what they are doing, start gathering evidence to support it.
Termination under Permanent Work Restriction
You are supposed to keep receiving compensation until you are fully recovered – until you reach maximum medical improvement. There are cases where your injuries might complicate you getting back to work. For instance, your doctor might require you to avoid lifting anything heavier than ten pounds. This is called permanent work restriction.
The onus is on your employer to create an environment that accommodates your permanent work restriction. This could be through investing in ergonomic chairs or moving you to a less labor intensive role. If they can’t manage to support you, they can legally let you go.
Document Your Evidence
An employee could easily use some legal reasons as a façade for discriminating against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Spotting such moves is easy, but it requires you to gather evidence. This means archiving emails and memos that could suggest that they are retaliating. You can then use this evidence to file a lawsuit for retaliatory termination or discrimination.
Hire a Lawyer Immediately
Most reputable workers comp lawyers can spot retaliatory termination from miles away. Contact an attorney as soon as you start suspecting your employer for it. They can guide you on the evidence you need to collect and the process you should follow. Contact us today if you need free workers’ compensation consultation or want to hire a reputable workers compensation lawyer. Free Consultations! Call 978-275-1919.