Terminated on Workers’ Compensation

Attorney Blog

construction helmetAdding Insult to Injury

The bad news: you’ve been injured at work.  What’s worse: you’ve just been terminated.

One common question we receive from employees injured at work is whether you can be fired while on workers’ compensation. The short answer is, unless you have an employment contract or are protected by FMLA, yes, you can be terminated on workers’ compensation. In Illinois, most employees are at-will, meaning you can be terminated at any time for any reason, so long as it is not prohibited by law.  While an employer can’t fire an employee in retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim, an employee doesn’t have a wrongful termination claim simply because they were terminated while on workers’ compensation.

How does termination affect the status your workers’ compensation claim? Barring very few exceptions, your right to benefits remains the same. This is true regardless of whether you’re terminated through no fault of your own, or for misconduct or even willful violation of company rules. You are still entitled to workers’ comp weekly wages, at 2/3 of your average weekly wage, as long as you’re off work or on restrictions your employer can’t accommodate.  Your employer is also responsible for payment of 100% of your medical benefits until you’re released from your doctor’s care.

The reason the law operates in this manner is because workers’ comp is designed to help employees injured at work recover from their injuries with the assistance of their employer.  Your employer is responsible for paying the weekly wages and your medical bills because you were injured at work, not based on your status as an employee throughout the duration of your claim.  Just think: if employers were permitted to stop paying benefits as soon as an injured employee is no longer with the company, it would give less scrupulous employers motivation to find reasons to terminate injured workers to escape financial liability.  So while the law doesn’t necessarily prevent your employer from terminating you, it does protect your benefits in the event it occurs.

What happens if you voluntarily resign, accept other employment, or simply quit showing up for work?  If your employer is paying your weekly wages while you’re off work, or accommodating your light duty restrictions, your employer’s obligation to pay weekly benefits ends.  However, under any of these scenarios, your employer is still obligated to pay your medical benefits until you are released from your doctor’s care.

So what should you do if you’ve been injured at work and are concerned about being fired or are thinking about quitting your job?  Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices today to discuss what we can do to ensure your benefits are protected.

Categories:

Got a Settlement Quicker Than I Expected and Better Than I Expected!

My second time with Leandro A. at Woodruff Johnson and Evans. Another great job. Didn’t have to talk with work comp at all this time since I told work comp I don’t trust them after the first occurrence with them. Got a settlement quicker than I expected and better than I expected. Thanks to Leandro […]

Brian M.

Attorney Dexter Evans: Professional, Responsive and Took Care of Business. Highly Recommended. You Will Not Be Disappointed!

Dexter Evans handled my case for a motor vehicle incident. I would like to inform you that he was very professional, responsive, and took care of business. Whenever I had a question they were very quick to respond and handled everything for me. If it wasn’t Dexter then Nicole was right there. I highly recommend […]

Otis S

Go to the Doctor. Do the Tests. Get the Diagnostics. Hire Leandro Alhambra!

Leandro Alhambra took on my workman’s comp case and did a great job getting a good return back. I had him take on the case late (2 years after the incident) and he still was able to provide a good amount of compensation. Advice to anyone reading: go to the doctor, do the tests and […]

Nelson V

Leandro A. Alhambra Fights to Get Every Dollar for his Clients

I used Leandro A. Alhambra for my workmans comp. case. I see in him that he fights to get every dollar for his clients to be satisfied of the outcome.

Daniel H

Their Office Represented Me Very Well

I felt that their office represented me very well with a very difficult people to deal with. The process took a long time but at the end they were able to close the deal. I want to thank you for the support and ability to answer any and all questions I had during this process. […]

DJ

Attorney Leandro “Lee” Alhambra has given me and my family a peace of mind that I am much grateful for.

My experience with Woodruff Johnson & Evans has been a blessing. My attorney Lee has been such a professional but also a friend that has walked me through many of the things that I had no knowledge of or what I should do next. He has given me and my family a peace of mind […]

Michael K.

I just wanted to let you and your office know how pleased I was with your handling of my case!

Dear Russell, I just wanted to let you and your office know how pleased I was with your handling of my case. The promptness in which you handled this matter and the professionalism you showed while doing so was greatly appreciated. Should there arise another time in which I need assistance or should an acquaintance […]

M. Wright

Attorney Dexter Evans Was Always Available to Answer Any Concerns I Had.

D.J. was always available to answer any concerns I had. The entire case was handled professionally. I am completely satisfied with entire staff at Woodruff Johnson & Evans that I encountered.

John N.

Attorney Jay Johnson went above and beyond!

Attorney Jay Johnson went above and beyond. He made everything so easy and was always available for any questions I needed to ask. I highly recommend Woodruff Johnson & Evans!

Chad M.

Attorney Russell Haugen was awesome!

Attorney Russell Haugen was awesome at handling my case and very communicative on a lot of information I needed help with as well. He also took out the time to make sure I was handled with great provision! Thanks

Jashaunti P.
View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.