After you sustain a work-related injury, you might wonder whether or not you should file a workers’ compensation claim. You may be worried that you will get fired if you do so. So rather than filing a claim, you may use vacation days or sick time to nurse your injury and hope to work again without missing a workday. But in another instance, your employer may ask you not to file a compensation claim to avoid being held responsible for an OSHA violation or facing an increase in their insurance premiums.
Clearly, this situation is overwhelming, especially as you are trying to recover from your injury. Plus, you are worried about what happens to your job. If you are not sure, talk to a Charlottesville workers’ compensation lawyer to know how the law can protect you and when you must lose your job.
At-Will Employment in Virginia
In Charlottesville, Virginia, you can be fired from work for any reason unless this reason is not lawful. While this may sound harsh, it protects the freedom of a worker. This law also allows you to quit freely. Illegal termination can be based on reasons such as discrimination and public policy violations. Also, it is illegal for employers to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If your job has been terminated due to your claim filing, you can have a wrongful termination lawsuit. Your lawyer can determine the right steps to take. Make sure you don’t navigate the state’s complex workers’ compensation laws by yourself if you want a successful outcome.
Can You Preserve Your Job after Your Injury?
Although your employer cannot fire you for filing a compensation claim, there are things they can do. They can terminate your position while you are on leave. As a business, they must bring on somebody to fulfill your duties. Thus, you could be assigned a different role during your return.
In addition, you must also remember that your employer can fire you if you cannot perform your role’s essential functions. After all, no employer will want to pay you for work duties you cannot perform.
Thankfully, you can continuously receive benefits even if you can no longer return to work. You will continue to get treatment until you can fully recover or reach maximum medical improvement. Moreover, if you cannot return to your job, your compensation benefits can include education and training that help you become qualified for another position.