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You Cannot be Fired for Collecting Workers' Compensation

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

collecting workers compensation, Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation AttorneysWorkers in Illinois, by operation of the Illinois Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act, have the right to collect workers' compensation for injuries sustained in the course of their employment.

Although workers have the right to workers' compensation, that does not stop many employees from fearing retaliation for doing so. Injured workers, in great need of the benefits provided by workers' compensation, are often concerned that they will be fired or otherwise retaliated against by their employer. This is not helped by the fact that some employers generally do not react positively to workers' compensation claims, which tend to be costly episodes for the company.

To be sure, an employer whose employee becomes injured on the job loses the use of a trained, performing worker, and often has to train and pay somebody new to perform the employee's function while they are on leave. Although insurance will cover the costs the injured employee sustains, the employer also faces significant costs and inconvenience such that workers' compensation claims are “discouraged.” Any Illinois resident who believes that he or she is  being retaliated against for making a workers' compensation claim, or who fears retaliation, should speak to an experienced Illinois workers' compensation attorney to discuss his or her legal rights.

Illegal to Discharge Injured Employees

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) prohibits terminating employees for collecting workers' compensation. According to the IWCC handbook, “it is illegal for an employer to harass, discharge, refuse to rehire, or discriminate in any way against an employee for exercising his or her rights under the law.” All forms of harassment and retaliation against injured workers are prohibited by the IWCC, and any retaliatory action can give rise to the right of the injured worker to file a lawsuit against the employer.

It is important to remember that employees who make workers' compensation claims can still be fired or disciplined, if a valid reason is provided. A worker collecting compensation for injuries should not feel immune to consequence for any non-retaliatory negative employment decision.

If You Were Injured on the Job

Illinois has a no-fault workers' compensation system—regardless of whether or not the actions of the employee contributed to the accident giving rise to the claim, the worker has the right to receive compensation and benefits through the workers' compensation system. This removes any incentive for employers to dispute claims made by employees for workers' compensation benefits, and also makes the process for obtaining benefits more streamlined, rather than if fault were to be considered.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident in Illinois and would like to make a claim for workers' compensation benefits, but you are afraid of retaliation, the attorneys at our firm are ready to give you guidance and advise you on your legal rights. Call one of our dedicated Crystal Lake workers' compensation attorneys today to learn how we can be of assistance.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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