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Can I get fired while on workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Being injured on the job can be stressful enough, but what happens if you lose your job while recovering? There are strong legal protections in place for workers receiving workers’ compensation in Connecticut. Knowing your rights and understanding the legal aspects of your benefits may help.

Retaliation for filing a claim is illegal

Connecticut law states employers cannot fire, demote or discriminate against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. However, being on workers’ compensation does not guarantee you your job. Your employer can still fire you with a legitimate and documented reason for termination that’s completely unrelated to your injury or claim.

Burden of proof

While your employer can’t fire you solely for workers’ compensation claims, proving retaliation can be tricky. The burden of proof falls on the employee. If the timing of your termination coincides closely with filing a claim or your employer makes discriminatory remarks, these can strengthen your case.

What if there’s another reason for termination?

Connecticut is an “at-will” employment state. Employers can fire employees with or without cause as long as the reason isn’t discriminatory. Your termination might be legal if it coincides with a company layoff or poor performance documented before your injury.

What to do if you suspect retaliation

If you believe your termination was in retaliation for a workers’ compensation claim, here are some things you can do:

  • Gather documentation: Keep copies of your injury report, claim filings and any communication with your employer regarding your injury or termination. Document any discriminatory actions towards you, if there are any, and get witness statements from anyone who might have been present at the scene.
  • Contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission: They specialize in handling disputes in workers’ compensation cases and can guide you through the complaint process.
  • Consult a legal professional: An experienced legal representative specializing in workers’ compensation may help evaluate your case and advise you on the proper course of action.

The legalities of workers’ compensation can be complex, but professional consultation may help you navigate the process effectively. By understanding your rights and taking necessary action, you may ensure that your recovery does not come at the expense of your job.