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Can You Be Terminated When You’re on New York Workers Comp?

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If you’ve been injured on the job in Long Island, you may be going through the workers comp claims process. Most employers have workers compensation insurance to protect themselves from liability when an accident occurs. Workers comp insurance also protects employees who get injured at work and provides payment for medical expenses and lost wages during recovery.

Although workers comp insurance is an excellent benefit to have, you may be curious whether your employer can fire you during the time you take away from work to heal from your injuries. Thankfully, there are laws in New York to protect you against job displacement while you’re injured. 

If your employer unlawfully fires you, you can file a claim against them. Alternatively, if your employer lawfully fires you, you can financially protect yourself in other ways. Speaking to a Long Island workers comp lawyer from Jaghab, Jaghab & Jaghab, PC can be beneficial as you try to sort out your employment situation and avoid financial distress.

The Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects most employees on workers comp in New York. Although the FMLA doesn’t provide pay and benefits, it protects an employee’s right to return to their job within twelve weeks of when they were injured. The FMLA may not cover teachers, clergy, and volunteers in New York.

Situations When Your Termination May Be Illegal 

If you’re on workers comp after an injury and you’re covered by the FMLA, your employer can’t fire you within twelve weeks of your injury. Your employer also can’t fire you after twelve weeks of suffering an injury if they solely based their reason for firing you on the fact that you filed a workers comp claim.

If you were fired because you filed a workers comp claim, then your employer is guilty of discrimination in the form of retaliation, and you can hold them accountable by filing a discrimination claim through your state’s agency or through the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Protecting Your Family if You Get Fired Lawfully

It’s lawful for your employer to fire you after you’ve been injured for twelve weeks if they have a justified reason for doing so. If you can’t perform your job duties the way you once did, for example, then your employer may fire you and replace you with someone else. After twelve weeks, your job is no longer protected by the FMLA.

If you’re still on partial disability benefits when you get lawfully fired, it’s possible to receive unemployment benefits in addition to your workers comp. 

Contact a Long Island Workers Comp Attorney

Because workers comp insurance and the laws surrounding wrongful termination can be complex, it may be helpful to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. Once you know whether you were fired lawfully or not, you can proceed with a claim accordingly. To speak with a Long Island workers comp lawyer from Jaghab, Jaghab & Jaghab, PC, call 516-747-8830 or fill out the contact form below to schedule a free consultation.


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