Dedicated employees who sustain an injury while working for their Tennessee employer may find themselves on the receiving end of a pink slip. Employers may or may not have a solid reason for terminating an injured employee, but workers need to know their rights.
USA Today provides a measure of insight on the matter. Knowing what to do next and how to respond to an unlawful termination can serve to relieve recovering and frustrated employees.
Workers’ comp provides a measure of protection
Employees injured on the job may file for workers’ comp to help them recover both physically and financially. Medical expenses and a portion of missed wages qualify for coverage. Going one step further, workers’ compensation protects employees from facing termination for filing for compensation.
Protection applies to claims made in good faith
There is one essential stipulation to bear in mind with the termination protection workers’ compensation offers: Job security only comes with good faith claims. If an employee lies about how the injury occurred or exaggerates the severity of the injury, the employer may have the right to legally terminate that employee.
Fault is not a factor in workers’ compensation claims
An employer may want to terminate an injured employee because the company feels the employee is at fault and is a liability. With workers’ compensation, there is no at-fault requirement. True, safety violations and overlooked workplace hazards could put employers in the spotlight with agencies like OSHA, but that does not give employers the right to terminate injured workers.
It is best to gather evidence
Wrongfully terminated employees should gather as much evidence as possible to help build a legal case. Specifically, medical records concerning the injury and company paperwork regarding the accident make for solid evidence. Any findings that link the injury to the termination can strengthen a wrongful termination case. Co-worker statements, photos and videos may prove invaluable.