Workers’ Compensation Claims and Termination of Employment

It is essential for an injured worker in Illinois to know that the Workers’ Compensation Act prohibits the employer from threatening, harassing or terminating an employee for filing a claim. I am frequently asked the question by a prospective client, “Can I be fired for filing this claim?” My answer is always the same, there is a clear prohibition against the employer terminating an injured worker for filing a claim. Of course, people and companies violate the law all the time, so is this prohibition in the Workers’ Compensation statute a real deterrent to an employer? The short answer is, yes, absolutely. The Illinois Supreme Court created the right to money damages against an employer when the injured worker can prove that he/she was fired as a consequence of filing a workers’ compensation claim. This is a claim which is filed in a Circuit Court, where a jury establishes the amount of money damages.

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