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Can I Lose My Job if I File a Workers' Comp Claim?

Can I Lose My Job if I File a Workers' Comp Claim?

Under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws, the vast majority of employees are covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance; there are only a few limited exceptions.

As long as an employee’s injury did not occur while the employee was under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, and as long as the injury didn’t arise from an intentional, harmful act to injure someone else, the worker should be covered by workers’ compensation.

Are You Afraid of Being Fired?

In our experience, even though injured workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation and fully entitled to these valuable benefits, many of them choose not to file a claim because they’re afraid their employers will fire them, or they’re afraid they won’t be able to find work elsewhere because they’ll be “stigmatized.”

Can an employer fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim? While most employment is “at-will employment,” meaning an employer can fire an employee at any time, it’s illegal for employers to fire workers for filing workers’ compensation claims.

If an employer fires an employee because they file a workers’ compensation claim, the employer can be subject to an employment discrimination lawsuit, and most employers know this.

So, if your employer fires you shortly after you file a workers’ compensation claim and you suspect it’s because of discrimination, you should immediately start gathering evidence to substantiate your suspicions.

What You Need to Know About Medical Improvement

Employers are legally required to keep employees on while their injured workers are receiving workers’ compensation. In fact, employers are required to keep employees until they have fully recovered from their injuries, or until they have reached the “maximum medical improvement” for a specific injury or disability.

Maximum medical improvement, otherwise known as MM, describes the point where a condition related to a workplace injury is not expected to improve any further with treatment. If you’d like to learn more about returning back to work after a workplace injury, feel free to reach out to our firm.

If you’re afraid you’ll lose your job if you file a workers’ compensation claim – don’t be. For the full legal support you need, contact our Columbia workers’ compensation firm today!


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