Can I Be Laid Off While On Workers’ Comp Leave?
It is well-known that if a person sustains an injury that requires medical attention while working, he or she is entitled to financial compensation. Unfortunately, many employers will try to take advantage of individuals in these situations in numerous ways. One of the most common complications that arises is if an employer attempts to fire someone due to the filing of a worker’s compensation claim. Do they legally have the ability to do this?
The short answer is no, an employer in the State of Florida cannot fire someone based on the filing of a worker’s compensation claim or the collection of one. This employee right is protected by both state and federal law. That being said, an employer can fire an employee or any other “legitimate” reason, such as poor performance, tardiness, unwillingness to follow company policies and more. The gray area results as this kind of firing happening right after a compensation claim is filed.
The timing would be too coincidental and one would be right in assuming that employers would try to disguise a “punishment” for filing a compensation claim as an actual layoff. The difficulty becomes in the proving of such a claim. Can the company prove that the firing is legal? Can you, as the injured worker, prove that it isn’t?
This is where working with an attorney becomes almost a necessity. Having someone on your side that will fight for you and is well-versed in this kind of law is an invaluable asset to have. At the Franco Firm, we’ve helped many win their worker’s compensation cases swiftly and effectively. To learn how we can assist you too, please call us at (813) 872-0929.