Whether you work in a high-risk industry like construction or agriculture or spend most of your time behind a desk, you have a right to collect benefits if you suffer injuries on the job. New Jersey employers, like those in all other states, are required to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance to cover expenses related to workplace accidents. Many workers hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim because they’re afraid their employer will fire them.
While employers typically have the right to hire and fire at will, there are state and federal employment laws to protect workers from unlawful termination. For example, your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your race, ethnicity, age or gender. It’s important to note that such laws also protect you against retaliation if you file a workers’ comp claim.
Were you fired after filing a workers’ comp claim or testifying at a hearing?
If your employer terminated your employment as a direct response to you filing a workers’ comp claim, it is unlawful. The same is true if the termination took place in response to you testifying at a workers’ compensation claim hearing. Such actions are outside the parameters of hiring and firing at will. They are types of retaliation, which violate New Jersey employment laws.
Some employers try to find other reasons to fire workers who have filed a claim
In some cases, an employer will try to get around the law by finding other reasons to fire an employee who has filed a workers’ comp claim. You might also have trouble if your employer tries to prevent the claim from going through. By addressing such matters in court, you may be able to restore your position, as well as recover lost wages and a settlement.
Be sure to review the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
If you believe that your employer fired you because of a disability that occurred related to a workplace accident, you’re entitled to file a legal claim. The ADA prohibits discrimination against a worker who suffers injury on the job that results in a disability. Under the law, your employer must make any reasonable accommodations that are available, such as allowing you to switch departments or workplace duties.
It’s wise to seek experienced guidance if you’ve encountered hostility in the workplace, have been unlawfully terminated for filing a workers’ comp claim or because you have suffered a disability in connection with a workplace accident. You can seek justice.