Can an Employer Fire an Employee Injured at Work?

A story that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel describes a workplace accident that injured an amusement park worker struck by a roller coaster. The story brings to mind a question; can an employer fire you if you sustain an injury at work? The answer is no. If you suffer an injury on the job, your employer must cover workers compensation benefits under the law.

However, you must also be able to perform the basic tasks associated with the position. If you are able to do so, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may provide protection. Under the ADA, your employer is obliged to try to accommodate your injuries by restructuring the job, installing modified equipment, adjusting the work schedule or using another approach.

If these measures cause undue hardship for the employer, the employer may not have to abide by the ADA. If you are unable to perform any aspect of the position, the employer may fire you but could be responsible for any work-related permanent disabilities through worker’s compensation benefits. By law, the employer pays for worker’s compensation benefits that cover:

  • Medical care
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits
  • Death benefits

Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system. That means you don’t have to prove that your injuries were someone else’s fault to receive benefits. Most employers resolve worker’s compensation claims without any disagreement. However, if you feel that the employer or the worker’s compensation claim administrator is treating you unfairly, consult the California personl injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas about your rights under the law.

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