If you were injured at work in Virginia, you should take steps to protect your rights. Injured workers are often unaware of their rights and how they can file a workers’ compensation claim. Because employers pay for the no-fault insurance, they are protected to an extent. An injured worker cannot sue them directly for work-related injury. Following the mishap, you should consult a workers’ comp lawyer Virginia to know your claim better. What if your employer fires you from the job because you reported the accident? Here are some key facts worth knowing.
Retaliation cannot be a reason for termination
Many workers don’t report their injuries because they fear retaliation. While an employer cannot do that, these things do happen. If you were terminated from your job because of your injury, you can sue your employer. Section 65.2-308 of the Code of Virginia allows for that. If you are successful, you could recover damages along with the fee of your attorney. Your workers’ compensation claim will pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Like many others, you may not understand your legal options, and it’s best to contact an attorney specializing in labor and employment matters for advice.
When you are fired because you tested positive for substance abuse
Take this example – You reported your injury and filed a workers’ compensation claim, and your employer found that you had failed the drug test. As per company policies, they can fire you from the job, but you could still get workers’ compensation benefits. It depends on the facts of the case. If you were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident or injury happened, you could file a claim successfully. Talk to your lawyer if you can fight that and at least get the due benefits of the workers’ compensation system.
Fired after returning to work
You have just returned to work and are taking up light duties. If your employer fires you from the job and proves things like misconduct or insubordination, you could lose your workers’ compensation benefits. Each situation is unique, and in some cases, you could continue getting lost wage benefits. For instance, if your employer had to hire someone because of your work restrictions, you may get wage benefits.
Talk to an attorney if you believe that your employer has fired you for filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim or reporting an injury.