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Ways Your Employer May Try to Fire You After a Workers' Compensation ClaimYour employer cannot fire you in retaliation for you filing a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so would allow you to file a wrongful termination lawsuit and could also result in criminal penalties against your employer. However, your employer can legally terminate your employment after you have filed a workers’ compensation claim if there is another reason for your termination. If you believe that your employer is punishing you for your injury claim, you must document your employer’s actions as evidence of their retaliation.

Reasons for Firing

Most employers are smart enough to not tell you that they are firing you because of your workers’ compensation claim. However, your employer could be looking for an excuse to fire you that they can say was unrelated to your claim. Valid reasons to terminate your employment could include:

  • Misconduct on your part;
  • Layoffs due to a declining budget;
  • Not having a job that can accommodate your physical restrictions after you have reached maximum medical improvement; or
  • You refusing to accept a new position with your employer that accommodates your needs.

Firing you would not let your employer’s insurer off the hook for your workers’ compensation claim. You could still receive a settlement and benefits for your injury. Instead, your employer may be trying to replace you with a healthy employee who has no work restrictions.

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Illinois workers' compensation, McHenry County workers' compensation attorney, workers' compensation, workers' compensation statute, workers' compensation law, work injury claim, seek medical treatment, wrongful terminationWorkers' compensation statutes can be complicated, and companies often attempt to layer extra policies on top of them, making them even harder to understand. However, a recent federal court case in Illinois expanded the rights of workers seeking treatment for on-the-job injuries. The case relates to policies that corporations can put in place to govern how their workers receive medical treatment. The court ruled that a company may not require employees to notify a company before seeking medical treatment for an injury. While this case may yet be appealed, it could have important implications for workers looking to collect workers' compensation.

The Facts

The case relates to a package handler working for FedEx in 2011. The employee began complaining of a sore back, and therefore informed his supervisors. The company placed him on light duty work for a few days while he could recuperate. Close to a week after the initial report he sought medical treatment for his continuing pain. The physician's assistant who examined him cleared him to continue working. However, the physician's assistant also issued him a note instructing his employer to keep him on light duty until a proper physical examination could be performed.

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