Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

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Workers’ compensation is often positively viewed as a compromise between employers and their employees in the event of a workplace injury. It creates a trade-off that gives the injured worker automatic and quickly received benefits for lost time from work and medical expenses, regardless of fault ? although the payment amount is usually smaller than that of a personal injury lawsuit. The employer’s trade-off is that, while they usually always have to pay workers’ compensation benefits when an employee is injured on the job, they usually do not have to worry about being personally sued if the accident was their fault.

This system usually works. However, employers sometimes retaliate against their employees for filing workers’ compensation claims. This is illegal in Pennsylvania and can lead to a separate lawsuit against them. Some examples of employer retaliation are:

  • Unwarranted termination
  • Unwarranted demotion or decrease in salary
  • Workplace intimidation
  • Failure to file a report of injury
  • Interference of employee’s workers’ compensation claims process
  • Unnecessary increase in work load

An employer can still fire an employee for extended absences from work, even if it’s injury-related. An employee can always be fired, as long as the reason does not involve unwanted workers’ compensation claims. If you are a member of a union, the union may be able to help ensure your job security.