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Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

If you’ve suffered a workplace accident, you probably have a lot on your plate. You might have painful physical injuries and a long recovery ahead of you. You might have expensive medical bills to take care of. You’ve heard of the benefits of filing a workers’ compensation claim, but you might be nervous at how your boss will react if you file one. Can they terminate your employment for filing?

Retaliatory discharge

Pennsylvania state law protects the rights of workers to claim the benefits of the Workers’ Compensation Act. In most cases, if you have a workplace accident, you usually cannot bring a lawsuit against your employer. Instead, you can file a claim to receive workers’ compensation.

An employer cannot fire you simply because you filed a workers’ comp claim. In fact, not only can they not fire you for filing, but they also cannot retaliate against you in other ways. For example, they can’t reduce your pay, demote you or suspend you because you filed.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that you can’t be fired for any reason. Chances are, you are still an at-will employee. That means that your employer can fire you for any legal reason, such as poor performance or excessive tardiness. They simply cannot use your workers’ compensation claim as the justification for firing you.

If your employer were to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you would be able to sue them for retaliatory discharge. To do this, your attorney would have to show that your employer’s main justification for firing you was your claim, and not for any other reason.

Your workplace injury has undoubtedly led to serious inconveniences. Don’t hesitate to file a claim for workers’ compensation, in order to help get your life back on track.


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