Can My Employer Fire Me if I am Unable to Work Because of an Injury and I am Receiving WC Benefits?
Our Omaha workers’ compensation attorney explains protections against termination and other retaliatory actions while receiving benefits.
Workers’ compensation in Nebraska provides important benefits for workers when accidental injuries or occupational illnesses happen on the job. While workers’ compensation (WC) acts as a form of insurance in this situation, some employers resent the fact that you are injured and choose to file a claim. Your employer might attempt retaliatory actions against you, including firing you. Our Omaha workers’ compensation attorney explains your rights in this situation.
Protection Against Retaliation When Applying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Nebraska
Under the Nebraska Statutes, all employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits in Nebraska. This applies whether workers are employed part or full-time and by private or public businesses. State laws dictate eligibility guidelines, requirements for administering benefits, and the rights of workers while they are receiving them.
The law expressly prohibits retaliation by employers against employees due to getting injured on the job, filing a workers’ compensation claim, or receiving benefits. This includes:
- Demoting them from their current position;
- Denying them rightfully earned bonuses or commissions;
- Subjecting them to disciplinary actions;
- Reducing their hours or pay once they return to work;
- Refusing reasonable accommodations during their recovery;
- Terminating their employment with the company, either immediately after an accident or while they are on workers’ compensation.
Wrongful Termination Due to On-the-Job Injuries
Nebraska is what is known as an ‘at will’ employment state. This means that employers can hire or fire you for any reason or even no reason at all. However, they are prohibited from terminating your employment as a direct result of on-the-job injuries, workers’ compensation claims, or your inability to perform certain tasks on the job as a result of your injuries.
If your employer does attempt to fire you or takes other adverse actions, including creating a hostile work environment, you have legal options available. These include:
- Filing a complaint with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court (WCC): From the moment you are injured and file a claim, the WCC has strict rules and regulations regarding employer behavior, which include prohibitions against termination and other adverse actions.
- Filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Your employer could be guilty of discrimination if they fired you due to short or long-term disabilities.
- Filing a civil lawsuit against them: Our Omaha workers’ compensation attorney can advise you on your rights in filing a lawsuit against your employer, seeking reinstatement on your job and compensation for lost wages and benefits.
Request a Consultation With Our Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Nebraska law prohibits firing or taking other retaliatory actions against injured employees and those receiving workers’ compensation benefits. At Andres Law Offices, PC LLO, we protect your rights in this situation and can take the legal actions needed. To request a consultation, call or contact our workers’ compensation attorney online today.