Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Filing for workers’ compensation can be a daunting decision, not only because of the potential medical ramifications of your injury but also because of the potential job-related repercussions. Our Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP often hear this question, “Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?”
By understanding their rights and taking proactive steps such as documenting everything and filing a complaint with the appropriate authorities, individuals who were fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim can take control of their situation and ensure they receive fair treatment under the law.
Can You Get Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Maryland?
In most states, including Maryland, an employee has the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation if they suffer an illness or injury while on the job. This right is protected by law, and employers cannot fire an employee simply for filing such a claim. However, some states do not have this protection. Before filing your claim, it is important to research your state’s applicable laws and protect yourself from any retaliatory actions taken by your employer.
In Maryland, it is illegal for employers to fire an employee solely for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you were fired for exercising your right, you could pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer. However, you will need to prove that you were fired solely for filing your claim.
Other Forms of Retaliation by Employers
Even if it is illegal to fire someone for filing a workers’ compensation claim, employers may still try to retaliate against employees who file claims in other ways. For instance, some employers may demote an employee or cut their hours after they have filed a claim in order to punish them for doing so. Again, this will depend on individual state laws. However, it is important to be aware that such retaliation may occur and be prepared to take legal action should it happen.
What to Do if You Were Fired After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you do feel as though you are being retaliated against by your employer after filing your workers’ compensation claim, make sure that you document everything that happens. Keep records of any verbal harassment or changes in hours/schedule/payroll etc., and reach out to an employment attorney if necessary. In some cases, legal action is necessary in order for employers to understand why retaliation against employees is wrong and illegal under most circumstances.
Although Maryland is an “at-will” employment state, the law protects employees from termination or other forms of retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims, according to the Maryland Department of Labor.
If you feel that your employer has retaliated against you due to your participation in activities related to your workers’ compensation claim, you may need to consider filing a complaint with the appropriate authority. Depending on where you live, this could be either the State Department of Labor or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is always best practice to file these complaints as soon as possible after discovering that retaliation has taken place so that all of the relevant information can be collected and investigated properly.
Contact Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP for Legal Guidance
Have you been fired after filing a workers’ compensation claim? You might be dealing with a case of wrongful termination. Consult with our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP to discuss the details surrounding your termination and identify the legal remedies that may be available to you. Call 800-248-3352 for a case review.