What injured employees who claim workers’ comp need to know about wrongful termination and protecting their legal rights.
We saw an interesting news item about a California woman who was accused of stealing from her job and fired. She believed the firing was discriminatory because of a workers’ comp claim. A lawsuit was filed and she was awarded $8 million by a jury. This matter was ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount.
This case should serve as a warning for businesses who wrongfully terminate. Michigan law prohibits an employer from firing or in any way discriminating against an employee who exercises a right under workers’ comp. This includes negative performance reviews, changes to job duties, demotion, salary reduction, negative references, unwarranted disciplinary action, and general harassment.
Simply asking for medical treatment after a workplace injury might be enough to trigger this protection in Michigan. Evidence will need to show that an employee was fired or discriminated against because of workers’ comp. It can be a difficult burden of proof and most employers are not dumb enough to put it in writing.
Federal law also offers protections to employees who are discriminated against in the workplace. This can involve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Understanding legal rights is the best way to protect yourself. It is important to speak with an experienced lawyer if you have been hurt on-the-job and wrongfully terminated.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Daquella manera.